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^    THE 





THE  EVOLUTION  OF  MAN       5  1^ 





Library  of  Congress  Catalog  Number:  60-10575 

The  University  of  Chicago  Press,  Chicago  37 

Cambridge  University  Press,  London,  N.W.  1,  England 

The  University  of  Toronto  Press,  Toronto  5,  Canada 

©  1960  by  the  University  of  Chicago.  Published  1960 

Printed  in  the  U.S.A. 


On  November  24,  1859,  Charles  Darwin  at  last  saw  in  print  the  manu- 
script over  which  he  had  labored  for  almost  a  quarter  of  a  century,  the 
book  whose  ponderous  title  has  become  the  familiar  Origin  of  Species. 
The  world  had  been  waiting,  and  in  a  single  day  the  first  edition  of 
1,500  was  sold  out.  One  hundred  years  later,  the  day  was  celebrated 
as  marking  one  of  those  events  that  influence  the  career  of  man  by 
changing  his  perspective  of  himself  and  his  place  in  the  universe. 

In  December  of  1955  the  University  of  Chicago  began  planning  its 
celebration  of  the  centenary  in  the  most  appropriate  manner — bringing 
to  bear,  on  the  subject  of  evolution,  current  knowledge  from  a  variety 
of  relevant  fields,  thus  advancing  once  more  our  understanding  of  the 
world  and  man. 

About  fifty  scientists  were  selected  during  1956,  and  their  themes 
were  agreed  upon;  during  1957  and  1958,  they  prepared  and  ex- 
changed their  papers.  Armed  with  new  information  and  insights,  all 
but  five  of  the  authors  met  at  the  University  on  November  22,  1959,  to 
prepare  for  panel  discussions  of  the  issues  in  evolution  which  were  to 
be  held  for  the  public  during  the  five-day  Celebration,  beginning  on 
the  Centennial  of  the  publication  date  of  Origin  of  Species.  The  discus- 
sions were  based  on  the  papers  that  had  been  distributed  in  advance, 
but  the  papers  themselves  were  not  dehvered  at  the  Celebration. 

This  is  the  third  and  final  volume  of  the  University's  Darwin  Centen- 
nial publications,  collectively  called  Evolution  after  Darwin.  Most  of 
the  Centennial  papers  were  published  earlier  this  year  in  the  first  two 
volumes.  The  Evolution  of  Life  and  The  Evolution  of  Man.  The  pres- 
ent volume.  Issues  in  Evolution,  includes  three  papers  on  the  general 
topic  of  science  and  spiritual  values  as  well  as  an  index  for  the  entire 
set;  but  it  is  primarily  a  record  of  the  Celebration  itself. 

That  record  opens  with  the  transcript  of  a  televised  conversation 
among  Adlai  Stevenson  and  four  Celebration  participants,  held  shortly 
before  the  Celebration  began,  and  foreshadowing  many  of  the  issues 
that  were  discussed  during  the  five-day  program.  Then  follow  the  five 

vi     •     PREFACE 

panel  discussions  that  constituted  the  heart  of  the  Celebration;  and  Sir 
JuHan  Huxley's  convocation  address,  a  delineation  of  the  evolutionary 
vision  that  knits  together  many  of  the  varied  themes  discussed  at  the 
panels;  it  ultimately  became  the  most  controversial  event  of  the  Cele- 
bration week.  An  assessment  of  the  panel  discussions  by  three  of  the 
participants  forms  a  fitting  postscript  to  the  series.  The  book  closes 
with  a  personal  appraisal  of  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration  and 
its  significance  by  the  senior  editor,  and  an  album  of  photographs 
by  Albert  C.  Flores  which  illustrate  the  program. 

The  editors  of  this  volume — and  Mrs.  Marie-Anne  Honeywell,  the 
Conference  Secretary — also  administered  the  Celebration,  the  one  as 
Chairman  of  the  Committee,  and  the  other  as  Conference  Director. 
During  the  month  preceding  the  Celebration,  the  Committee  members 
— Alfred  E.  Emerson,  Chauncy  D.  Harris,  Everett  C.  Olson,  H.  Burr 
Steinbach,  and  Ilza  Veith — were  joined  by  Sir  Julian  Huxley  and  Al- 
fred L.  Kroeber;  all  were  essential  to  its  success.  Others  to  whom  the 
Celebration  owes  much  are  noted  in  the  proper  places. 

Sol  Tax 
Charles  Callender 

July  1960 



A  Third  Group  of  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration  Papers 


Ilza  Veith 


/.  Franklin  Ewing,  S.J. 


Jaroslav  Pelikan 



"at  random":  a  television  preview  41 

Sir  Charles  Darwin,  Sir  Julian  Huxley,  Harlow 
Shapley,  Adlai  Stevenson,  and  Sol  Tax; 
moderated  by  Irv  Kupcinet 

introduction    to   the    panel   DISCUSSIONS  67 

Sol  Tax 

PANEL    one:    the    ORIGIN    OF    LIFE  69 

Chairmen:  Harlow  Shapley  and  Hans  Gaffron 
Panelists:     Sir  Charles  Darwin,  Th.  Dobzhansky, 

E.  A.  Evans,  Jr.,  G.  F.  Gause,  Ralph  W. 

Gerard,  H.  J.  Muller,  C.  Ladd  Prosser 

PANEL  two:  the  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE  107 

Chairmen:  Sir  Julian  Huxley  and  Alfred  E.  Emerson 
PaneHsts:     Daniel  I.  Axelrod,  Th.  Dobzhansky,  E.  B. 
Ford,  Ernst  Mayr,  A.  J.  Nicholson,  Everett 
C.  Olson,  C.  Ladd  Prosser,  G.  Ledyard 
Stebbins,  Sewall  Wright 


via     ■     CONTENTS 

PANEL    three:    man    AS   AN    ORGANISM  145 

Chairmen:   G.  G.  Simpson  and  F.  Clark  Howell 
Panelists:     Marston  Bates,  Cesare  Emiliani,  A.  Irving 

Hallowell,  L.  S.  B.  Leakey,  Bernhard 

Rensch,  C.  H.  Waddington 

PANEL  four:  the  EVOLUTION  OF  MIND  175 

Chairmen:  Ralph  W.  Gerard  and  Ilza  Veith 
Panelists:     Henry  W.  B rosin,  Macdonald  Critchley, 
W.  Horsley  Gantt,  A .  Irving  Hallowell, 
Ernest  Hilgard,  Sir  Julian  Huxley, 
Alexander  von  Muralt,  N.  Tinbergen 

PANEL    five:    social    and    cultural    EVOLUTION  207 

Chairmen:   Clyde  Kluckhohn  and  Alfred  L.  Kroeber 

PaneHsts:     Robert  M.  Adams,  Edgar  Anderson,  Sir 

Julian  Huxley,  H.  J.  Muller,  Fred  Polak, 

Julian  Steward,  Leslie  A.  White,  Gordon 

R.  Willey 


Sol  Tax 


Sir  Julian  Huxley 

"all    THINGS    considered:"   a    television    POSTSCRIPT         263 

Robert  M.  Adams,  Sir  Julian  Huxley,  Ilza  Veith; 
moderated  by  Alec  Sutherland 

THE    celebration:    a    PERSONAL    VIEW  271 

Sol  Tax 
THE  PROGRAM  IN  PICTURES  following  page  278 





The  tremendous  impact  of  Darwin's  Origin  of  Species  within  the  sphere 
of  Western  culture  is  readily  understood  in  view  of  the  need  to  recon- 
cile the  facts  and  implications  of  evolution  with  the  supernatural  ele- 
ments in  the  Judeo-Christian  religions.  In  the  Far  East,  however,  nei- 
ther the  revolutionary  significance  of  the  evolutionary  principle  nor 
the  violent  opposition  it  engendered  could  have  been  fully  compre- 
hended. A  review  of  the  earlier  Chinese  ideology,  which  also  dominated 
the  rest  of  the  Far  East,  reveals  certain  similarities  with  early,  as  well 
as  post-Darwinian,  Western  evolutionary  concepts.  A  comparison  of 
these  totally  independent  streams  of  thought  is  pertinent  to  this  Cen- 
tennial volume  and,  at  the  same  time,  may  shed  light  upon  the  recent 
events  in  China's  social  developments. 

China  has  at  various  times  been  credited  with  the  earliest  formula- 
tion of  almost  every  great  thought  in  the  history  of  ideas;  with  reference 
to  evolutionary  speculations,  there  is  convincing  evidence  that  its  an- 
cient philosophers  were  deeply  concerned  with  these  matters.  Although 
their  final  conclusions  were  far  removed  from  ours,  the  original  propo- 
sitions are  so  germane  to  our  subject  that  they  merit  closer  analysis 
than  has  yet  been  accorded  them.  In  contrast  to  the  Western  world, 
the  Far  Eastern  philosophers  thought  of  creation  in  evolutionary 
terms.  Nevertheless,  the  establishment  of  a  theory  of  creation  satis- 
factory to  them  all  but  terminated  further  speculation,  as  it  did  in  the 
Judeo-Christian  West.  For  that  matter,  once  concepts  of  creation  had 
been  formed  early  in  China's  recorded  history,  they  remained  un- 
changed and  fundamental  throughout  the  Far  East  until  the  introduc- 
tion of  Western  evolutionary  theories,  and  these  actually  proved  con- 
siderably less  alien  to  traditional  Chinese  cosmogonic  ideas  than  to 
those  of  the  West. 

ILZA  VEITH  is  Associate  Professor  of  Medicine  and  History  at  the  University  of 
Chicago.  Born  in  Germany,  Dr.  Veith  received  her  Ph.D.  in  the  history  of  medicine 
in  1947  from  the  Johns  Hopkins  University.  Her  work  is  supported  by  research  grant 
(M-1563)  from  the  United  States  Public  Health  Service,  National  Institutes  of 
Mental  Health,  Bethesda. 

2     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

The  striking  feature  of  the  Chinese  concept  of  cosmogony  is  the 
fact  that  creation  was  never  associated  with  the  design  or  activity  of 
a  supernatural  being,  but  rather  with  the  interaction  of  impersonal 
forces,  the  powers  of  which  persist  interminably.  Tao,  the  foremost  of 
these  forces,  touched  every  conceivable  facet  of  life  and  thought.  Al- 
though it  has  been  defined  as  "the  way,"  "Tao"  is  a  word  with  an  infinite 
variety  of  meanings,  and  it  has  even  been  termed  indefinable,  "and  in 
its  essence  unknowable."  Its  concept  goes  back  to  remote  antiquity, 
and  it  existed  long  before  Lao-Tzu  (sixth  century  B.C.),  who  was  the 
spiritual  father  of  Taoism,  which  later  became  a  separate  creed.  Lao- 
Tzu  neither  created  the  word  nor  gave  it  significance.  But  in  his  Tao-te 
Ching  he  gave  to  the  then  existing  sporadic  conception  of  the  universe 
a  literary  form  in  which  Tao  was  pre-eminent.  His  Tao,  or  "Way,"  is 
the  originator  of  heaven  and  earth,  it  is  the  source  of  all  things.  Yet 
his  "Way"  is  but  a  metaphorical  expression  for  the  manner  in  which 
things  came  at  first  into  being  out  of  the  primal  nothingness  and  how 
the  phenomena  of  nature  continue  to  go  on.^ 

Thus  in  cosmogony  it  was  held  to  be  the  force  that  had  shaped  the 
universe  out  of  chaos.  After  creation,  it  was  the  key  to  the  mysterious 
intermingling  of  heaven  and  earth,  and  it  also  means  the  Way  and  the 
Method  of  maintaining  harmony  between  this  world  and  the  beyond, 
that  is,  by  shaping  earthly  conduct  to  correspond  completely  with  the 
demands  of  the  other  world.^ 

That  the  Chinese  were  early  preoccupied  with  the  phenomena  of 
nature  is  readily  understood  when  one  recalls  that  long  before  Lao- 
Tzu  and  Confucious  they  derived  their  livelihood  from  agriculture.^ 
The  crystallization  of  this  development  was  expressed  by  the  concept 
of  Tao.  Since  the  entire  universe  followed  one  immutable  course 
which  became  manifest  through  the  alternation  of  night  and  day, 
through  the  recurrence  of  the  seasons,  through  growth  and  decay,  man 
in  his  utter  dependence  upon  the  universe  could  not  do  better  than 
follow  a  way  which  was  conceived  after  that  of  nature.  The  only 
manner  in  which  he  could  attain  the  right  Way,  the  Tao,  was  by  emu- 
lating the  course  of  the  universe  and  completely  adjusting  himself  to 
it.  Thus,  through  Tao,  man  saw  the  universe  endowed  with  a  spirit 
that  was  indomitable  in  its  strength  and  unforgiving  toward  disobedi- 

Yet  the  ancient  Chinese,  although  subservient  to  the  universe  as 

^Otto  Franke,  "Die  Cinesen"  in  Chantepie  de  la  Saussure,  Religionsgeschichte 
(Tubingen,  1925),  Aufl.  4,  Vol.  I,  pp.  195  ff. 
''Heinrich  Hackmann,  Chinesische  Philosophie  (Munich,  1927). 
'Herbert  F.  Rudd,  Chinese  Social  Origins  (Chicago,  1928),  p.  3. 


a  whole,  realized  that  within  nature  itself  there  was  a  gradation  of 
power:  the  earth  was  dependent  upon  heaven.  When  the  fields  were 
scorched  and  men  waited  for  rain,  when  winter  lingered  and  sun  was 
needed  to  thaw  the  frozen  earth,  man  saw  that  heaven  was  the  more 
powerful  and  therefore  made  heaven  his  supreme  deity.  But  Chinese 
imagination  never  personalized  this  higher  being  or  speculated  about 
its  intrinsic  qualities.*  Heaven,  through  its  visible  manifestations,  re- 
mained the  ruler  of  the  world  and  united  its  Tao  with  that  of  the  earth 
in  order  to  complete  the  yearly  cycle  of  nature;  and  it  was  by  this  ex- 
ample that  man  formed  his  Tao.^ 

Because  it  was  from  the  sky  that  most  natural  blessings  and  catastro- 
phes seemed  to  emanate,  heaven  was  always  venerated  as  the  supreme 
power,  but  it  was  never  credited  with  having  created  the  world.  Con- 
fucius knew  nothing  of  a  God,  of  a  soul,  of  an  unseen  world.  More- 
over, he  declared  that  the  unknowable  had  better  remain  untouched. 
Therefore,  mythology  has  no  place  in  the  Chinese  concept  of  creation; 
instead,  the  Chinese  have  groped  toward  a  more  scientific  explanation 
of  cosmogony.®  Lieh-Tzu  (450-375?  B.C.),  the  oldest  author  who 
proposes  a  theory  of  creation,  starts  from  chaos,  in  which  the  three 
primary  elements  of  the  universe — force,  form,  and  substance — were 
still  undivided.  This  first  stage  is  followed  by  a  second,  the  great  in- 
ception, when  force  becomes  separated;  then  by  a  third,  the  great  be- 
ginning, when  form  appears;  and  a  fourth,  the  great  homogeneity, 
when  substance  becomes  visible.  Then  the  light  and  pure  substances 
rise  above  and  form  heaven,  the  heavier  and  coarser  sink  down  and 
produce  the  earth.^ 

This  concept  of  the  division  of  substance  into  a  lighter  and  a 
heavier  part  is  one  of  the  many  forms  which  express  the  origin  of  the 
important  Chinese  belief  in  a  dual  power.  Even  though  the  idea  of  the 
chaos — the  first  stage  of  the  creation  of  the  world — was  later  replaced 

*WilheIm  Grube,  Religion  and  Kultus  der  Chinesen  (Leipzig,  1910),  pp.  27-31. 

°  For  a  detailed  description  of  the  early  concepts  of  the  Tao,  see  J.  T.  M.  de  Groot, 
Universismus:  Die  Grundlage  der  Religion  und  Ethik,  des  Staatswesens  und  der 
Wissenschaften  Chinas  (Berlin,  1918),  pp.  1-23. 

*  Almost  one  thousand  years  after  the  philosophers  had  formulated  their  theory  of 
cosmogony,  a  myth  arose  which  designated  a  primeval  being  by  the  name  of  P'an  Ku 
as  the  creator  of  the  world.  The  inventor  of  this  legend  was  Ko  Hung,  a  Taoist  recluse 
of  the  fourth  century  a.d.,  the  author  of  Shen  hsien  chiian,  or  "Biographies  of  the 
Gods."  According  to  later  Chinese  writers,  the  picturesque  person  of  P'an  Ku  is 
said  to  have  been  a  concession  to  the  popular  dislike  of,  or  inability  to  comprehend, 
the  abstract.  V^hile  P'an  Ku  figured  to  some  extent  in  folklore,  the  concept  of  a  per- 
sonified creator  was  never  adopted  by  the  educated. 

^Lieh-Tzu,  Book  I,  chap.  3.  See  also  Alfred  Forke,  The  World  Conception  of  the 
Chinese:  Their  Astronomical,  Cosmological  and  Physico-philosophical  Speculations 
(London,  1925),  p.  34. 

4     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

by  the  Great  Void,  the  Absolute,  and  then  by  the  Great  Unity  or  the 
Monad,  the  idea  that  each  of  these  primary  conditions  divided  into 
two  and  then  reunited  into  one  has  survived. 

The  dual  power  that  arose  from  the  primary  state  was  held  to  be 
the  instigator  of  all  change,  for  change  was  viewed  as  an  expression 
of  duality,  as  an  emergence  of  a  second  out  of  a  first  state.  The  two 
components  of  the  dual  power  were  designated  as  Yin  and  Yang.  The 
two  characters  which  stand  for  Yin  and  Yang  have  received  a  vast 
variety  of  interpretations,  but,  by  analyzing  the  ideographs  themselves, 
the  original  and  basic  meaning  of  the  characters  can  be  ascertained. 
A  literal  translation  of  the  components  that  constitute  the  two  char- 
acters results  in  the  meaning  of  "the  shady  side  of  a  hill"  for  Yin  and 
"the  sunny  side  of  a  hill"  for  Yang.  Other  interpretations  see  Yin  and 
Yang  as  two  banks  of  a  river,  one  of  which  lies  in  the  shade,  the  other 
exposed  to  the  sun.  Dr.  Otto  Franke  combines  these  two  interpretations 
by  stating  that  Yin  represents  the  river  bank  that  is  shaded  by  a  moun- 
tain, whereas  Yang  is  that  side  of  the  river  that  is  lighted  by  the  sun. 
These  three  interpretations  agree  on  the  main  issue,  namely,  that  Yin 
represents  the  shady,  cloudy  element,  while  Yang  stands  for  the  sunny 
and  clear  element. 

Since  Yin  and  Yang  are  supposed  to  be  the  primigenial  elements 
from  which  the  universe  was  evolved,  it  was  natural  that  they  should 
be  endowed  with  innumerable  qualities.  But  if  we  keep  in  mind  their 
original  meanings — cloudy  and  sunny — and  their  original  functions — 
that  of  the  creation  of  heaven  and  earth — we  shall  find  that  many  of 
the  additional  connotations  are  either  directly  related  to,  or  at  least 
logically  derived  from,  the  original  concepts. 

Yang  stands  for  sun,  heaven,  day,  fire,  heat,  dryness,  light,  and 
many  other  related  subjects;  Yang  tends  to  expand,  to  flow  upward 
and  outward.  Yin  stands  for  moon,  earth,  night,  water,  cold,  damp- 
ness, and  darkness;  Yin  tends  to  contract  and  to  flow  downward.  As 
heaven,  Yang  sends  fertility  in  the  form  of  sun  (and  rain)  upon  the 
earth;  hence  heaven's  relation  to  earth  is  like  that  of  man  to  wife — 
the  man  being  Yang  and  the  wife  being  Yin.  This  classification  of  Yin 
and  Yang  was  extended  and  applied  to  qualities  which  no  longer  bear 
a  direct  relationship  to  the  original  meaning  of  "shady"  and  "sunny," 
although  the  relationship  can  often  be  logically  explained.  It  would 
be  impossible  to  enumerate  even  a  small  part  of  the  alternatives  that 
Yin  and  Yang  have  come  to  represent.  Nevertheless,  a  few  examples 
showing  their  extension  from  the  physical  to  the  moral,  from  the  con- 
crete to  the  abstract,  may  be  instructive.  Yang:  motion,  hence  life; 
Yin:  low,  hence  common.  Yang:  good-beautiful;  Yin:  evil-ugly.  Fur- 


ther  contrasts  are  virtue- vice,  order-confusion,  reward-punishment,  joy- 
sadness,  wealth-poverty,  health-disease. 

The  fact  that  in  these  contrasts  Yang  represented  the  positive  and 
Yin  the  negative  side  must  not  be  interpreted  to  mean  that  Yin  was  a 
"bad"  and  Yang  a  "good"  principle.  It  must  always  be  borne  in  mind 
that  Yin  and  Yang  were  conceived  of  as  one  entity  and  that  both  to- 
gether were  ever  present.  Day  changed  into  night,  Hght  into  darkness, 
spring  and  summer  into  fall  and  winter.  From  these,  the  most  striking 
and  regular  manifestations,  it  was  deduced  that  all  happenings  in  na- 
ture as  well  as  in  human  life  were  conditioned  by  the  constantly  chang- 
ing relationship  of  these  two  cosmic  regulators.  But  the  general  appli- 
cation of  this  ever  present  duality  also  led  to  the  realization  that 
neither  of  the  components  ever  existed  in  an  absolute  state,  and  the 
concept  arose  that  within  Yang  there  was  contained  Yin  and  within 
Yin  there  was  contained  Yang.  The  following  passages,  taken  from 
China's  earliest  medical  text,  are  illustrative  of  the  importance  at- 
tributed to  these  two  universal  forces: 

The  principle  of  Yin  and  Yang  is  the  basis  of  the  entire  universe.  It  is 
the  principle  of  everything  in  creation.  It  brings  about  the  transformation  to 
parenthood;  it  is  the  root  and  source  of  life  and  death.  .  .  . 

Heaven  was  created  by  an  accumulation  of  Yang;  the  Earth  was  created 
by  an  accumulation  of  Yin. 

The  ways  of  Yin  and  Yang  are  to  the  left  and  to  the  right.  Water  and  fire 
are  the  symbols  of  Yin  and  Yang,  Yin  and  Yang  are  the  source  of  power 
and  the  beginning  of  everything  in  creation. 

Yang  ascends  to  Heaven;  Yin  descends  to  Earth.  Hence  the  universe 
(Heaven  and  Earth)  represents  motion  and  rest,  controlled  by  the  wisdom 
of  nature.  Nature  grants  the  power  to  beget  and  to  grow,  to  harvest  and  to 
store,  to  finish  and  to  begin  anew. 

The  constant  interaction  of  the  two  basic  elements  is  described  in 
the  following  paragraph: 

Everything  in  creation  is  covered  by  Heaven  and  supported  by  the 
Earth.  When  nothing  has  as  yet  come  forth  the  Earth  is  called:  "the 
place  where  Yin  dwells";  it  is  also  known  as  the  Yin  within  the  Yin.  Yang 
supplies  that  which  is  upright,  while  Yin  acts  as  a  ruler  of  Yang.^ 

While  the  Tao,  the  Yin,  and  the  Yang  were  intangible  concepts, 
they  received  expression  through  their  tangible  components,  the  Five 
Elements,  which  must  be  thought  of  less  as  actual  substances  than  as 
forces  essential  to  life.  In  spite  of  the  prevalence  of  elemental  ideas  in 
early  Greek  and  Indian  philosophies,  the  theory  of  the  five  elements  is 

'Ilza  Veith,  Huang  Ti  Nei  Ching  Su  Wen  (Baltimore,  1949),  p.  15. 

6     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

no  doubt  of  Chinese  origin,  and  its  existence  in  ancient  times  is  proved 
by  many  old  documents.  The  essence  of  this  ancient  tradition  is  that 
Yin  and  Yang,  in  addition  to  exerting  their  dual  power,  gave  forth 
water,  fire,  metal,  wood,  and  earth.  Man,  who  was  said  to  be  the  prod- 
uct of  heaven  and  earth  by  the  interaction  of  Yin  and  Yang,  also  con- 
tains, therefore,  the  five  elements.  This  close  relationship  between  the 
five  elements  and  the  human  body  was  also  extended  to  human  ac- 
tions, since  each  element  was  related  to  a  specific  emotion,  as  well  as 
to  a  physical  sensation. 

Despite  this  apparent  emphasis  on  man's  place  in  the  universe,  it 
must  be  noted  that  the  Chinese  thought  that  all  other  animate  beings 
and  inanimate  substances  were  created  together  with  man,  in  his 
image  and  the  image  of  the  universe.  All  were  thought  to  be  regulated 
by  the  same  laws,  activated  by  the  same  dual  power,  composed  of  the 
same  elements,  and  endowed  by  the  same  spirit  of  life.  As  was  to  be 
expected,  the  identity  of  substantial  composition  gave  rise  to  the  ques- 
tion as  to  whether  there  was  a  fixed  and  permanent  hierarchy  of  things 
and  beings  within  the  universe.  This  is  reflected  in  the  writings  of 
Lieh-Tzu  (450-375?  B.C.),  v/ho  was  mentioned  earlier  as  the  first  to 
concern  himself  with  the  theory  of  creation,  and  in  the  writings  of 
Chuang-Tzu,  who  lived  one  century  later.  In  the  works  of  both  authors 
we  find  an  almost  identical  description  of  an  extraordinarily  imaginative 
scale.  The  similarity  between  the  two  accounts  raises  the  question  as  to 
whether  Chuang-Tzu  borrowed  this  idea  from  the  earher  philosopher  or 
whether  both  drew  on  theories  then  common  in  Chinese  thought.  The 
following  version  is  the  terser  one,  presented  by  Chuang-Tzu:  ^ 

Certain  seeds,  falling  upon  water,  become  duckweed.  When  they  reach 
the  junction  of  the  land  and  the  water,  they  become  lichen.  Spreading  up 
the  bank,  they  become  the  dog-tooth  violet.  Reaching  rich  soil,  they  be- 
come wu-tsu,  the  root  of  which  becomes  grubs,  while  the  leaves  come 
from  butterflies,  or  hsii.  These  are  changed  into  insects,  born  in  the 
chimney  corner,  which  look  like  skeletons.  Their  name  is  ch'ii-to.  After  a 
thousand  days,  the  ch'ii-to  becomes  a  bird  called  kan-yu-kii,  the  spittle  of 
which  becomes  the  ssu-mi.  The  ssu-mi  becomes  a  wine  fly,  and  that  comes 
from  an  i-lu.  The  huang  k'uang  produces  the  chiu-yu  and  the  moii-fui  pro- 
duces the  fire-fly.  The  yang  ch'i  grafted  to  an  old  bamboo  which  has  for  a 
long  time  put  forth  no  shoots,  produces  the  ch'ing-ning,  which  produces  the 
leopard,  which  produces  the  horse,  which  produces  man.^" 

It  remains  undetermined  whether  this  amazing  train  of  thought  was 
inspired  by  some  observations  of  nature  or  whether  it  simply  repre- 

®Many  of  the  names  in  the  following  quotation  could  not  be  identified  even  by 
Chinese  commentators. 

"  Chuang  Tzu:  Mystic,  Moralist,  and  Social  Reformer,  trans,  from  the  Chinese  by 
Herbert  A.  Giles  (2d  ed.,  London,  1926),  p.  228. 


sents  the  brilliant  speculation  of  an  imaginative  brain.  Though  com- 
pletely fanciful,  this  ladder  of  nature  is  noteworthy  because  it  was 
conceived  more  than  two  millennia  before  the  Western  world  began 
to  re-examine  its  biblical  chronology.  But,  beyond  this,  the  above- 
quoted  passage  contains  two  highly  important  points:  first,  a  belief 
in  an  inherent  continuity  of  all  creation  and,  second,  a  reference  to 
the  merging  of  one  species  into  another — from  primordial  germ  to 
man.  The  significance  of  these  implications  was  analyzed  in  1877  by 
Ernst  Faber,  a  missionary  of  the  German  Lutheran  Rheinische  Mis- 
sions-Gesellschaft,  whose  Sinological  publications  were  among  the 
first  to  deal  with  the  works  of  Lieh-Tzu.  This  missionary  seems  to  have 
shared  the  then  prevailing  German  admiration  for  the  new  evolution- 
ary doctrines,  and  in  Lieh-Tzu's  account  of  the  ladder  of  nature  he 
even  saw  "die  Darwinsche  Hypothese  in  Chinesischer  Gestalt."  ^^ 

While  Chuang-Tzu's  and  Lieh-Tzu's  breathtaking  journey  from 
plant-germ  to  man  illustrates  a  concept  of  a  biological  evolution, 
somewhat  later  and  more  sophisticated  philosophers  were  concerned 
with  a  more  careful  evaluation  of  the  differences  and  similarities  be- 
tween existing  orders.  This  question  is  treated  in  considerable  detail 
in  Chu  Hsi's  magnificent  Philosophy  of  Nature,  a  compilation  of  this 
philosopher's  lectures,  which  was  first  brought  together  soon  after  his 
death  in  a.d.  1230.  It  embodies  most  of  the  earlier  philosophical  con- 
cepts and  strongly  influenced  later  Chinese  thinking.  Indeed,  accord- 
ing to  its  translator,  J.  Percy  Bruce,  "On  almost  every  page  the 
reader  will  find  modes  of  thought  and  expression  which  may  be  ob- 
served among  all  classes  of  people,  from  peasants  to  literati."  ^^  Since 
Chu  Hsi  was  doubtless  one  of  China's  greatest  minds,  his  views  on 
"The  Nature  in  Man  and  Other  Creatures"  are  entirely  representative 
of  Chinese  ideas  on  the  subject.  Like  the  one  quoted  here,  many  of 
his  lectures  took  the  form  of  dialogues  which  permitted  greater  em- 
phasis on  important  questions: 

1 .  Question.  Do  the  Five  Agents  [the  five  elements]  receive  the  Supreme 
Ultimate  equally? 

Answer.  Yes,  equally. 

Question.  Does  man  embody  all  the  Five  Agents,  while  other  creatures 
receive  only  one? 

Answer.  Other  creatures  also  possess  all  the  Five  Agents,  but  receive 
them  partially. 

2.  Question.  What  is  your  opinion  of  the  [Confucian]  statement  that  the 
Nature  consists  of  Love,  Righteousness,  Reverence,  and  Wisdom? 

"  Lieh-Tzu,  Der  Naturalismus  bei  den  alten  Chinesen  .  .  .  Licius,  transl.  and  an- 
notated by  Ernst  Faber  (Elberfeld,  1877),  p.  8. 

"^  Chu  Hsi,  The  Philosophy  of  Human  Nature,  trans,  from  the  Chinese,  with  notes, 
by  J.  Percy  Bruce  (London,  1922),  p.  xi. 

8     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Answer.  It  corresponds  to  the  saying  "Their  realization  is  the  Nature." 
But  preceding  this  are  the  stages  represented  by  the  statements  "The 
alternation  of  the  negative  and  positive  modes"  and  "The  law  of  their 
succession  is  goodness."  When  the  Moral  Law  of  the  negative  and  positive 
modes  alone  existed,  and  before  ever  the  stage  of  the  creation  of  man  and 
other  beings  was  reached,  these  four  principles  [Love,  Righteousness,  Rev- 
erence, and  Wisdom]  were  already  present.  Even  the  lower  orders  of  life, 
such  as  reptiles,  all  possess  them,  but  partially  and  not  in  their  perfection, 
on  account  of  the  limitations  caused  by  the  grossness  of  the  Ether. 

3.  It  is  true  that  in  the  life  of  men  and  other  creatures  the  Nature  with 
which  they  are  endowed  differs  from  the  very  beginning  in  the  degree  of 
its  perfection.  But  even  within  the  differing  degrees  of  perfection  there  is 
the  further  variation. ^^ 

Obviously,  this  question  had  greatly  occupied  Chu  Hsi's  mind,  for 
he  frequently  discusses  it.  It  is  of  interest  to  note  that  in  the  following 
passage,  however,  he  refers  to  "inferior"  creatures,  while  the  one 
quoted  above  speaks  of  "other"  creatures: 

Just  as  in  the  case  of  the  body:  within  are  the  five  organs  and  six 
viscera,  and  without  are  the  four  senses  of  hearing,  sight,  taste,  and  smell, 
with  the  four  limbs,  and  all  men  possess  them  alike;  so  with  the  moral 
nature:  within  are  Love,  Righteousness,  Reverence,  and  Wisdom,  and 
these  are  manifested  in  solicitude,  conscientiousness,  respectfulness,  and 
moral  insight,  and  all  men  possess  them;  so  that  in  all  relationships,  such 
as  those  of  father  and  son,  elder  and  younger  brother,  husband  and  wife, 
friend  and  friend,  sovereign  and  minister,  the  same  moral  sentiments  exist. 
Even  in  inferior  creatures  it  is  the  same,  except  that  in  their  case  these 
principles  are  restricted  by  the  rigidity  of  form  and  matter.  Nevertheless,  if 
you  study  their  habits  you  find  that  in  some  particular  direction  they  too 
manifest  the  same  principles:  they,  as  well  as  we,  have  the  affection  of 
parent  and  chUd;  in  their  male  and  female  there  is  the  relationship  of  hus- 
band and  wife,  in  their  differing  ages  that  of  elder  and  younger  brothers,  in 
the  flocking  together  of  those  of  a  class  that  of  friends,  and  in  their  leader- 
ship that  of  sovereign  and  minister.  It  is  because  all  things  are  produced 
by  Heaven  and  Earth,  and  together  proceed  from  the  One  Source,  that  there 
is  this  prevailing  uniformity. ^^ 

The  recurrent  stress  on  the  compositional  equality  and  behavioral 
similarity  of  all  the  products  of  creation  gave  rise  logically  to  the 
question  as  to  the  causes  and  nature  of  the  differences  which  subse- 
quently appeared.  These  speculations  led  to  evolutionary  theories  con- 
cerning the  very  beginning  of  life  on  earth.  Beyond  that,  however, 
thought  was  not  carried.  This  failure  is  doubtless  due  to  the  intense 

"  Ibid.,  pp.  56-57. 
^'Ibid.,  pp.  19-20. 


veneration  for  ancient  concepts  which,  once  formulated,  must  be 
preserved  in  their  original  entirety.  However,  the  very  injunctions 
to  regard  ancient  writings  as  eternal  and  unchangeable  verities  pro- 
vided the  basis  for  reflections  on  the  subject  of  social  and  cultural 
change.  And  here  the  results  were  surprising.  Contrary  to  Western 
ideas  such  as  that  expressed  by  Nietzsche  that  man  is  unfinished  and 
must  be  refined  and  completed,  mankind,  according  to  Chinese  theory, 
had  completed  its  social  evolution  and  achieved  the  highest  form  of 
life  at  the  very  dawn  of  its  history.  But  it  was  just  this  very  perfection 
of  social  evolution  attained  so  early  that  resulted  in  a  theory  propound- 
ing not  only  stagnation  but  actual  devolution,  that  inexorably  led  man 
into  an  imagined  state  of  regression.  To  establish  this  fact,  recourse 
was  taken  to  the  impressive  device  of  "priorism,"  which  appears  to  be 
an  ancient  Chinese  practice.  This  device  was  also  used  by  Confucius 
when  he  created  a  picture  of  antiquity  and  of  ancient  rulers  which 
corresponded — and  was  supposed  to  correspond — less  to  historical 
truth  than  to  an  ideal  estabUshed  for  the  princes  and  their  people.  It  is 
doubtless  dangerous  to  move  the  ideals  of  a  people  into  a  remote  past, 
for  it  interferes  with  man's  normal  urge  to  expect  improvement  in  the 
future  and  to  work  for  it.  The  tendency  to  priorism  becomes  even  more 
harmful  if  historical  truth  about  more  recent  events  is  cast  aside  and 
a  golden  age  alone  is  worshiped. 

The  proponents  of  the  Chinese  concept  of  unequaled  perfection 
were  four  legendary  rulers,  often  referred  to  as  the  Sages.  They  are 
generally  known  as  Yao,  Shun,  Yii,  and  T'ang,  although  variations  of 
these  names  were  also  used,  and  they  were  believed  to  have  lived  in 
the  third  millennium  B.C.  It  was  the  achievement  of  these  figures  that 
ordered  life  upon  the  universe,  once  creation  had  taken  place.  Their 
feats  are  recorded  by  Mencius,  of  the  fourth  century  B.C.,  whose  writ- 
ings reflect  a  picture  of  early  social  evolution: 

In  the  time  of  Yao,  when  the  world  had  not  yet  been  perfectly  reduced 
to  order,  the  vast  waters,  flowing  out  of  their  channels,  made  a  universal 
inundation.  Vegetation  was  luxuriant,  the  birds  and  beasts  swarmed.  The 
various  kinds  of  grain  could  not  be  grown.  The  birds  and  beasts  pressed 
upon  men.  The  paths  marked  by  the  feet  of  beasts  and  prints  of  birds 
crossed  one  another  throughout  the  Middle  Kingdom.  To  Yao  alone  this 
caused  anxious  sorrow.  He  raised  Shun  to  office,  and  measures  to  regulate 
the  disorder  were  set  forth.  Shun  committed  to  Yi  the  direction  of  the  fire 
to  be  employed,  and  Yi  set  fire  to,  and  consumed,  the  forests  and  vegeta- 
tion on  the  mountains  and  in  the  marshes,  so  that  the  birds  and  beasts  fled 
away  to  hide  themselves.  Yii  separated  the  nine  streams,  cleared  the  courses 
of  [the  rivers]  Tsi  and  Ta,  and  led  them  all  to  the  sea.  He  opened  a  vent 

10     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

also  for  the  [rivers]  Zu  and  Han,  and  regulated  the  course  of  the  [rivers] 
Hwai  and  Sze,  so  that  they  all  flowed  into  the  [Yangtze]  Chiang.  When  this 
was  done,  it  became  possible  for  the  people  of  the  Middle  Kingdom  to 
cultivate  the  ground  and  get  food  for  themselves.  .  .  . 

The  Minister  of  Agriculture  taught  the  people  to  sow  and  reap,  cultivat- 
ing the  five  kinds  of  grain  [wheat,  glutinous  millet,  millet,  rice,  beans]. 
When  the  five  kinds  of  grain  were  brought  to  maturity,  the  people  all  ob- 
tained a  subsistence.  But  men  possess  a  moral  nature;  and  if  they  are  well 
fed,  warmly  clad,  and  comfortably  lodged,  without  being  taught  at  the  same 
time,  they  become  almost  like  the  beasts.  This  was  a  subject  of  anxious 
solicitude  to  the  sage  Shun,  and  he  appointed  Hsieh  to  be  the  Minister  of 
Instruction,  to  teach  the  relations  of  humanity: — how,  between  father  and 
son,  there  should  be  affection;  between  sovereign  and  minister,  righteous- 
ness; between  husband  and  wife,  attention  to  their  separate  functions;  be- 
tween old  and  young,  a  proper  order;  and  between  friends,  fidelity.  The 
highly  meritorious  sovereign  said  to  him,  "Encourage  them;  lead  them  on; 
rectify  them;  straighten  them;  help  them;  give  them  wings: — thus  causing 
them  to  become  possessors  of  themselves.  Then  follow  this  up  by  stimulat- 
ing them,  and  conferring  benefits  on  them.^^ 

The  writings  of  Mencius  were  elaborated  by  many  later  authors. 
From  one  of  these,  Han  Yii  (a.d.  767-824)  of  the  T'ang  Dynasty, 
we  receive  an  even  more  detailed  description  of  the  evolution  of  social 
structure  in  China.  Since  it  is  of  particular  significance  to  our  subject, 
it  will  be  quoted  here  in  its  entirety: 

In  former  times  the  population  was  made  up  of  four  classes,  the  scholars, 
farmers,  artisans  and  merchants.  Now  there  are  six  [the  four  previous  ones 
plus  the  Buddhist  priests  and  the  Taoist  monks].  Formerly  there  was  one 
school  of  [philosophical]  precepts  [Confucianism].  Now  there  are  three 
[Confucianism,  Taoism,  and  Buddhism].  [In  reality]  there  is  one  class  of 
food  producers  and  six  classes  who  eat  the  produce;  there  is  one  class  of 
artisans  and  six  classes  who  use  the  objects  made  by  them;  there  is  one 
class  of  merchants  and  six  classes  who  buy  from  them.  How  does  one  expect 
the  people  not  to  become  impoverished  and  destitute? 

In  primitive  times,  many  dangers  [threatened]  man.  But  there  appeared 
the  Sages  who  made  themselves  known  and  subsequently  taught  them  the 
rules  of  livmg  together  [family  relations]  and  to  raise  [children];  and  they 
gave  them  princes  and  masters  [teachers];  they  chased  [away]  the  insects, 
the  reptiles,  the  birds  and  the  animals  and  installed  man  in  the  middle  of 
the  land  [upon  the  earth  of  China].  [The  people  were]  cold  and  the  Sages 
gave  them  clothing;  they  were  hungry  and  the  Sages  gave  them  food;  those 
who  lived  in  the  trees  fell  off;  those  who  lived  in  caves  took  sick  and  the 
Sages  gave  them  houses  or  huts;  [the  Sages]  set  up  for  them  [the  class]  of 
artisans,  for  the  purpose  of  furnishing  them  the  tools  to  use  and  [that  of] 

^^  James  Legge,  The  Chinese  Classics,  Vol.  II:  The  Works  of  Mencius  (Oxford, 
1895),  pp.  250-252. 


the  merchant  to  perform  the  exchange  of  that  which  one  has  for  that  which 
one  does  not  have.  [They]  gave  them  the  art  of  heahng  and  the  medicines 
to  prevent  premature  deaths,  they  estabUshed  for  them  the  burial  rites  and 
the  posthumous  offerings  in  order  to  prolong  affection  and  attachment, 
they  gave  them  the  Rites  so  as  to  distinguish  the  ranks  [in  the  social  order], 
they  gave  them  music  so  as  to  vent  the  repressed  feelings;  they  instituted 
for  them  the  power  by  which  to  discipline  the  lazy  and  the  negligent;  they 
set  up  for  them  punishments  to  distrain  the  transgressors  and  the  obstinate. 
The  people  deceived  one  another — [the  Sages]  initiated  for  them  forms  of 
contract,  seals,  weights  and  measures  which  could  be  trusted.  The  people 
fought  among  each  other — [the  Sages]  gave  them  fortified  towns  and  ad- 
jacent quarters,  armor  and  weapons  for  their  defence.  When  danger  arose 
[the  Sages]  made  the  necessary  preparations  for  them,  when  calamity 
threatened  [the  Sages]  found  ways  for  them  how  to  avert  it. 

And  now  as  Lao-tzu  says:  As  soon  as  the  great  Sages  vanish,  there  will 
be  the  great  thieves.  If  one  breaks  the  [false?]  weights  and  measures  the 
people  will  cease  wrangling.  .  .  . 

If  in  antiquity  there  had  not  been  the  Sages,  the  human  race  would  have 
been  extinguished  long  ago.  And  why?  Man  does  not  have  feathers,  body 
hair,  scales  or  turtle  shells  to  help  him  resist  the  cold  and  the  heat,  and  he 
has  no  talons  or  tusks  to  fend  for  his  nourishment.  Therefore  the  function 
of  the  prince  consists  of  the  giving  of  orders.  The  function  of  the  minister 
consists  in  putting  the  orders  of  the  prince  into  action  and  to  transmit 
them  to  the  people.  As  to  the  people,  their  function  is  to  produce  the  crops 
of  rice,  hemp  and  silk,  to  manufacture  tools  and  [ritual]  vessels  and  to 
interchange  the  wealth  of  commerce — all  of  it  so  as  to  serve  their  superiors. 
If  the  prince  does  not  give  orders,  he  loses  that  which  makes  him  a  prince. 
If  the  minister  does  not  put  into  action  the  prince's  orders  and  does  not 
transmit  them  to  the  people,  he  loses  that  which  makes  him  a  minister. 
If  the  people  do  not  produce  the  crops,  the  rice,  the  hemp  and  the  silk,  if 
they  do  not  manufacture  tools  and  vessels,  if  they  do  not  interchange  the 
wealth  of  commerce  in  order  to  serve  their  superiors — then  they  will  be 
punished.  ^^ 

Both  IVLencius  and  Han  Yii  praise  the  Sages  in  exalted  terms  and 
imply  the  superiority  of  their  personalities  and  their  accomplishments 
which  preclude  any  repetition.  Other  writers,  however,  go  even 
further.  They  picture  the  accomplishments  of  these  Sages  in  terms  of 
such  high  order  that,  by  their  very  feat  of  existence,  these  venerable 
personages  doomed  all  subsequent  generations  to  degeneracy  and  fail- 
ure. The  following  passages  from  an  ancient  medical  text,  again  in 
dialogue  form,  are  descriptive  of  such  devolutionary  thinking: 

"  Le  Kuo-Wen  Chinois:  Recueil  de  textes  acev  introduction  et  notes  par  Georges 
Margoulies  (Paris,  1926),  pp.  179-180. 

12     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

The  Yellow  Emperor  once  addressed  T'ien  Shih,  the  divinely  inspired 
teacher:  "I  have  heard  that  in  ancient  times  the  people  lived  [through  the 
years]  to  be  over  a  hundred  years,  and  yet  they  remained  active  and  did 
not  become  decrepit  in  their  activities.  But  nowadays  people  reach  only 
half  of  that  age  and  yet  become  decrepit  and  failing.  Is  it  because  the 
world  changes  from  generation  to  generation?  Or  is  it  that  mankind  is 
becoming  negligent  [of  the  laws  of  nature]?" 

Ch'i  Po  answered:  "In  ancient  times  those  people  who  understood  Tao 
[the  way  of  self-cultivation]  patterned  themselves  upon  the  Yin  and  the 
Yang  [the  two  principles  in  nature]  and  they  lived  in  harmony  with  the 
arts  of  divination. 

"There  was  temperance  in  eating  and  drinking.  Their  hours  of  rising 
and  retiring  were  regular  and  not  disorderly  and  wild.  By  these  means  the 
ancients  kept  their  bodies  united  with  their  souls,  so  as  to  fulfill  their 
allotted  span  completely,  measuring  unto  a  hundred  years  before  they 
passed  away. 

"Nowadays  people  are  not  like  this;  they  use  wine  as  beverage  and 
they  adopt  recklessness  as  usual  behaviour.  They  enter  the  chamber  [of 
love]  in  an  intoxicated  condition;  their  passions  exhaust  their  vital  forces; 
their  cravings  dissipate  their  true  [essence];  they  do  not  know  how  to  find 
contentment  within  themselves;  they  are  not  skilled  in  the  control  of  their 
spirits.  They  devote  all  their  attention  to  the  amusement  of  their  minds, 
thus  cutting  themselves  off  from  the  joys  of  long  [fife].  Their  rising  and 
retiring  is  without  regularity.  For  these  reasons  they  reach  only  one  half 
of  the  hundred  years  and  then  they  degenerate. 

"In  the  most  ancient  times  the  teachings  of  the  sages  were  followed  by 
those  beneath  them;  they  said  that  weakness  and  noxious  influences  and 
injurious  winds  should  be  avoided  at  specific  times.  They  [the  Sages]  were 
tranquilly  content  in  nothingness  and  the  true  vital  force  accompanied 
them  always;  their  vital  [original]  spirit  was  preserved  within;  thus,  how 
could  illness  come  to  them? 

"They  exercised  restraint  of  their  wills  and  reduced  their  desires;  their 
hearts  were  at  peace  and  without  any  fear;  their  bodies  toiled  and  yet  did 
not  become  weary. 

"Their  spirit  followed  in  harmony  and  obedience;  everything  was  satis- 
factory to  their  wishes  and  they  could  achieve  whatever  they  wished.  Any 
kind  of  food  was  beautiful  [to  them];  and  any  kind  of  clothing  was  satis- 
factory. They  felt  happy  under  any  condition.  To  them  it  did  not  matter 
whether  a  man  held  a  high  or  a  low  position  in  life.  These  men  can  be 
called  pure  at  heart.  No  kind  of  desire  can  tempt  the  eyes  of  those  pure 
people  and  their  mind  cannot  be  misled  by  excessiveness  and  evil. 

"[In  such  a  society]  no  matter  whether  men  are  wise  or  foolish,  virtu- 
ous or  bad,  they  are  without  fear  of  anything;  they  are  in  harmony  with 
Tao,  the  Right  Way.  Thus  they  could  live  more  than  one  hundred  years 
and  remain  active  without  becoming  decrepit,  because  their  virtue  was 
perfect  and  never  imperiled."  ^^ 

"Veith,  op.  cit.,  pp.  97-98. 


These  Sages  were  exalted  above  all  later  speculations  as  to  whether 
man  was  inherently  good  or  evil.  They  conformed  to  Confucius'  tenets 
that  man  was  inherently  good  and  fell  into  error  only  through  lack  of 
instruction.  But  different  views  are  present  in  the  writings  of  a  later 
Confucian  philosopher,  Hsiin  Tzu  (third  century  B.C.),  who  held  that 
man  is  inherently  evil: 

Man's  nature  is  evil.  Anciently  the  Sage  Kings  knew  that  man's  nature 
was  evil,  partial,  bent  on  evil,  corrupt,  rebellious,  disorderly  and  without 
good  government.  Hence  they  established  the  authority  of  the  prince  to 
govern  man;  they  set  forth  clearly  the  Li  [Etiquette,  Rites]  and  justice  to 
reform  him;  they  established  laws  and  government  to  rule  him;  they  made 
punishments  severe  to  warn  him,  and  so  they  caused  the  whole  country  to 
come  to  a  state  of  good  government  and  prosperity. ^^ 

This  passage  shows  that  the  concept  of  the  ancient  Sages  was  more 
than  abstractly  meaningful.  It  even  prepared  a  way  for  the  solution 
of  affairs  of  state  brought  about  by  the  weakening  of  the  ruler.  In 
China  the  form  of  the  political  organization  was  never  questioned. 
Monarchy  was  accepted  as  the  natural  and  inevitable  vehicle  of 
sovereignty.  It  was  the  moral  foundations  on  which  the  monarchy 
should  be  based  that  were  the  subject  of  many  philosophical  rivalries. 
This  preoccupation  with  moral  principles  rather  than  with  political 
forms  was  characteristic  of  all  Chinese  thought  and  led  to  the  belief 
that  the  moral  character  of  the  ruler  was  the  factor  which  determined 
the  quality  of  his  government.  Not  until  the  revolution  of  1911  did 
anyone  ever  advance  the  view  that  a  change  in  the  form  of  govern- 
ment would  help  to  establish  the  rule  of  virtue  and  benevolence. 

On  the  other  hand,  the  Chinese  did  not  invest  the  person  of  the 
monarch  with  the  attributes  of  divinity.  Above  the  king,  who  was  not 
a  god,  was  T'ien,  "Heaven,"  or  Shang  Ti,  "The  Supreme  Ancestor," 
and  the  earthly  sovereign  was  but  his  deputy,  standing  in  the  relation 
of  an  adopted  son  who  had  received  the  Mandate  of  Heaven  {Tien 
Ming),  by  virtue  of  which  he  ruled  over  the  earth.  This  "Mandate" 
was  not  a  patent  of  divine  right,  irrevocable  and  eternal.  It  was  con- 
ferred upon  a  sage  king  whose  virtue  had  entitled  him  to  act  as  the 
deputy  of  Heaven.  His  descendants  enjoyed  it  only  so  long  as  their 
virtue  made  them  worthy  representatives  of  the  Supreme  Ancestor.  A 
tyrant  who  misruled  his  kingdom  and  did  not  possess  the  virtues  of 
love,  righteousness,  reverence,  and  wisdom  was  deprived  of  the  Man- 
date of  Heaven,  and  rebellion  against  his  rule  was  not  crime  but  the 
just  punishment  of  outraged  Heaven  acting  through  the  medmm  of 
the  rebels.  The  above-quoted  passage  from  Han  Yu  attests  to  this 

"Charles  P.  Fitzgerald,  A  Short  Cultural  History  of  China  (London,  1935),  p.  93. 

14     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

practice,  and  Mencius,  on  a  famous  occasion,  when  questioned  about 
the  execution  of  the  king  by  Wu,  founder  of  the  Chou  Dynasty,  de- 
nied that  this  act  could  be  described  as  the  assassination  of  a  prince  by 
his  minister.  He  replied:  "I  have  heard  of  the  execution  of  the  fellow 
Chou  [last  King  of  Shang];  I  have  not  heard  that  a  prince  was  assassi- 
nated by  a  minister."  Chou,  for  his  tyranny  and  crimes,  was  no  longer 
fit  to  be  accounted  a  king.  He  had  lost  the  Mandate  of  Heaven  which 
had  already  been  conferred  upon  Wu,  founder  of  the  next  dynasty. 
Thus  he  was  "executed,"  and  Wu  was  not  a  "minister"  or  subject,  but 
the  "true  King  by  the  appointment  of  Heaven."  ^^ 

It  is  interesting  that  the  principle  of  priorism  also  invaded  the  vast 
field  of  Chinese  art.  As  Fitzgerald  ^"  points  out  so  well,  Chinese  art, 
too,  became  derivative  and  increasingly  stereotyped.  Technical  skill 
remained  at  the  same  high  level  as  that  achieved  in  the  T'ang  and  Sung 
periods,  but  inspiration  and  originality  declined  steadily.  In  bronze 
the  best  Ming  workmanship  is  almost  flawless,  but  it  consists  of  the 
mechanical  reproductions  of  ancient  pieces  decorated  with  the  classi- 
cal motifs,  and  there  is  a  complete  lack  of  invention.  When  ancient 
models  were  forsaken,  the  productions  of  the  late  bronzesmiths  were 
insipid  and  the  decoration  trivial.  The  jade  and  ivory  carving  of  the 
Manchu  period  shows  extreme  manual  skill  and  delicacy,  which  main- 
tained these  ancient  arts  on  a  very  high  technical  level  down  to  mod- 
ern times.  Ivory  has  perhaps  never  been  wrought  into  so  many  intri- 
cate forms  as  by  the  Cantonese  craftsmen,  who  are  able  to  carve  out 
of  one  tusk  several  spheres,  one  within  the  other,  all  pierced  with  deli- 
cate filigree  patterns. 

Yet  in  all  these  crafts,  in  spite  of  the  fine  workmanship  of  their  prod- 
ucts, there  is  a  certain  self-consciousness,  an  absence  of  real  purpose, 
which  reflects  the  character  of  the  age  in  which  they  were  made.  These 
things,  upon  which  so  much  skill  and  patience  were  expended,  were 
only  intended  to  please.  They  had  no  ritual  significance,  no  hving  in- 
spiration derived  from  some  ardent  belief  or  high  ideal.  They  were 
made  for  the  wealthy  as  ornaments,  to  be  admired  for  their  technical 
perfection  or  ingenious  workmanship,  not  to  be  venerated  as  symbols 
of  a  cult  or  as  the  expression  of  the  artist's  perception  of  truth.  Ancient 
conventions  lay  heavily  upon  all  the  arts,  as  upon  the  mind  of  the  edu- 
cated class  that  patronized  them. 

This  archaistic  atmosphere  was  in  itself  a  handicap  to  evolution. 
Just  as  the  Confucianist  was  taught  to  look  back  to  a  remote  classical 
age  for  his  criteria  of  literary  style,  so  the  artist  took  his  standards  from 
the  same  distant  past.  The  jade  carver  or  bronzesmith  was  certain  to 

"  Ibid.,  p.  74. 
'"Ibid.,  pp.  580-81. 


please  if  he  made  an  exact  reproduction  of  an  ancient  piece;  but  if 
he  struck  out  a  new  design,  his  efforts  would  be  ranked  far  below  the 
copy  of  a  classical  model.  This  contempt  for  all  that  was  not  old  cre- 
ated a  sense  of  inferiority  in  the  artist  who  tried  new  forms.  It  was 
accepted  as  a  matter  of  course  that  any  ancient  work  was  necessarily 
superior  to  anything  which  could  be  produced  in  modern  times,  and 
the  artists,  succumbing  to  this  psychological  pressure,  either  copied 
the  past  or  produced  self-consciously  trivial  work  which  made  no  claim 
to  challenge  comparison  with  antiquity. 

It  is  clear  from  the  foregoing  that  the  Chinese  idea  of  devolution 
and  the  supreme  satisfaction  with  ancient  achievement  stifled  all  sub- 
sequent developments  in  the  realms  of  morality,  poUtical  institutions, 
and  the  arts.  Yet  this  did  not  preclude  isolated  advances  in  certain 
aspects  of  Chinese  culture.  Entirely  new  styles  in  poetry  and  rhymed 
prose  were  developed  and  enriched  Uterature,  in  spite  of  the  T'ang 
and  Sung  movements  to  return  to  the  prose  style  of  the  classical  times. 
In  technology  the  superiority  of  later  methods  was  perfectly  obvious, 
and  even  in  philosophy  the  neo-Confucianists  clearly  felt  that  the  ideas 
of  the  ancients  could  be  profitably  amplified,  even  if  their  basic  prin- 
ciples were  good  for  all  times. 

Hardly  any  of  these  advances,  however,  ever  touched  the  art  of 
healing.  Its  foundation  unalterably  rested  upon  the  earliest  texts  and 
their  universalistic  concepts,  which  saw  in  the  body  a  microscopic  im- 
acre  of  the  universe  and  in  the  practice  of  medicine  largely  a  rebalanc- 
ing of  Yin  and  Yang  and  the  five  elements.  Brief  flights  into  rational 
medical  activity  conflicted  with  hallowed  beliefs  and  were  either  ac- 
tively prohibited,  as  in  the  case  of  surgery,  or  permitted  to  fall  into 
disuse.  The  latter  fate  befell  the  brief  practice  of  inoculation  against 
smallpox,  which  was  developed  in  China  in  the  eleventh  century,  nearly 
seven  centuries  before  it  was  introduced  into  the  West.  So  complete 
was  the  contentment  with  the  ancient  traditions  of  Chinese  heaUng 
that  to  this  day  it  has  never  been  completely  supplanted  by  modern 
Western  medical  science.  And,  indeed,  when  first  conceived,  it  was, 
like  China's  culture  and  social  system,  a  completely  rational  and  work- 
able entity,  far  superior  and  far  more  powerful  than  that  of  any  neigh- 
boring people.  All  further  improvement  appeared  needless. 

Thus  the  grand  evolutionary  surge  that  had  first  carried  China  so 
far  in  so  brief  a  time  was  deliberately  halted  at  an  arbitrarily  set  point 
of  "perfection."  With  the  suspension  of  all  social  change,  all  other  evo- 
lutionary tendencies  were  suspended  also  until  it  became  apparent 
that  the  tenets  of  the  golden  age  failed  to  provide  safeguards  against 
a  world  that  had  accepted  change  and  took  advantage  of  it.  The  hu- 
mUiation  brought  about  by  the  Opium  War  in  the  middle  of  the  last 

16     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION  I 

century  and  especially,  the  defeat,  in  1895,  by  fellow- Asians,  the  Japa-- 
nese,  who  had  but  slightly  earlier  divested  themselves  of  the  strangle-* 
hold  of  priorism  triggered  the  sudden  change  in  Chinese  attitudes.. 
Since  its  ancient  classics  were  of  little  avail  in  China's  adjustment  to )' 
reality,  other  and  foreign  sources  had  to  be  found  to  guide  her  in  her  'j 
new  role  of  Hving  in  a  world  dominated  by  Western  ideas. 

One  of  the  first  to  provide  such  texts  was  Yen  Fu,  in  the  late  nine- 
teenth century,  who  combined  a  classical  Chinese  education  with 
Western  studies.  In  England  he  had  become  familiar  with  the  works 
of  the  leading  naturalists  and  philosophers,  and  he  was  particularly 
struck  with  the  pertinence  of  T.  H.  Huxley's  writings,  which  first  ac- 
quainted him  with  the  theories  of  the  "struggle  for  existence"  and 
"survival  of  the  fittest."  He  undertook  the  translation  of  Evolution 
and  Ethics  in  1896.  Immediately  upon  its  publication  in  1899,  it  be- 
came one  of  the  most  influential  textbooks  in  Chinese  education.  One 
of  the  reasons  for  the  great  impact  of  Yen  Fu's  translation  was  his  use 
of  the  classical  style  as  well  as  the  introduction  of  many  illustrations 
and  quotations  from  classical  Chinese  sources.  By  doing  so,  he  pre- 
sented modern  evolutionary  conclusions  as  logical  outgrowths  of  an- 
cient Chinese  thinking.  In  general,  this  made  Huxley's  ideas  immediately 
acceptable,  although  Wu  Ju-lun,  then  head  of  the  faculty  of  Peking 
Imperial  University,  commented  in  a  letter  to  Yen:  "If  you  write  a 
book  yourself,  you  may  say  what  you  hke;  but  if  you  are  translating 
Huxley  it  is  more  appropriate  to  use  the  ancient  quotations  and  illustra- 
tions from  the  West  that  are  in  the  original  work.  It  seems  undesirable 
to  exchange  them  for  Chinese  sayings,  since  those  persons  and  things 
Chinese  could  not  be  familiar  to  Huxley."  ^i  ^ 

In  Huxley's  writings,  Darwinism  entered  China  long  before  the 
translation  of  Darwin's  own  books.  But  it  was  Darwinism,  speaking 
through  Huxley  and  made  to  appear  organically  related  to  ancient 
Chmese  thought  on  evolution,  that  furnished  the  intellectual  basis 
.  -^^n^fn'u"'^^^  upheaval  beginning  with  1911.  This  was  attested 
to  in  1920  by  one  of  China's  most  outstanding  scholars,  Liana  Ch'i- 
ch'ao,  when  he  wrote :  ^ 

Since  Darwin's  discovery  of  the  principle  of  the  evolution  of  species  a 
great  revolution  has  occurred  in  inteUectual  circles  over  the  whole  world 
His  service  to  learning  must  be  acknowledged.  But  afterwards  his  theory 
of  the  struggle  for  existence  and  survival  of  the  fittest  was  applied  to  the 
study  of  human  society  and  became  the  core  of  thought,  with  many  evU 
consequences  This  great  European  war  has  nearly'wiped  out  human 
civilization;  although  its  causes  were  very  many,  it  must  be  said  that  the 

"  Tsuen-Hsuin  Tsien.  "Western  Impact  on  China  through  Translaf,-r>n  »  J7      r-    . 
Quarterly.  Xm  (1954),  321.  ^"^"'^  ^"^ougn  iranslation,    Far  Eaj/ern 


Darwinian  theory  had  a  very  great  influence.  Even  in  China  in  recent 
years  where  throughout  a  whole  country  men  struggle  for  power,  grasp  for 
gain  'and  seem  to  have  gone  crazy,  although  they  understand  nothmg  of 
scholarship,  yet  the  things  they  say  to  shield  themselves  from  condemna- 
tion are  regularly  drawn  from  Yen  Fu's  translation  of  T.  H.  Huxley  s 
Principles  of  Evolution.  One  can  see  that  the  influence  of  theory  on  men  s 
minds  is  enormous.  No  wonder  that  Mencius  said,  "These  evils,  growmg 
in  the  mind,  do  injury  to  government,  and  displayed  in  the  government, 
are  harmful  to  the  conduct  of  affairs."  22 

It  is  interesting  that  Liang  Ch'i-ch'ao  in  his  review  of  China's  progress 
nostalgically  invoked  a  saying  of  Mencius,  for  he  must  have  been 
deeply  aware  that  the  bonds  with  the  golden  age  had  been  brokeri 
forever.  The  gap  of  evolutionary  thinking  of  two  thousand  years  had 
been  firmly  closed,  and  with  it  evolution  itself  had  carried  China  to 
a  destiny  which  Mencius  himself  had  foretold  with  dread:  "Now  here 
is  this  shrike-tongued  barbarian  of  the  south,  whose  doctrines  are 
not  those  of  the  ancient  kings.  Your  conduct  is  different  indeed  from 
that  of  the  philosopher  Tsang."  ^^ 

I  am  indebted  to  Professors  Edward  A.  Kracke,  Jr.,  and  Tsuen- 
hsuin  Tsien  of  the  Department  of  Oriental  Languages  and  Literature, 
University  of  Chicago,  for  their  generous  suggestions. 

=^  Ssu-yu  Teng  and  John  K.  Fairbank,  China's  Response  to  the  West  (Cambridge: 
Harvard  University  Press,  1954),  p.  267. 
''^Legge,  op.  dr.,  II,  255. 



I  refuse  to  admit  that  there  is  a  real  conflict  in  terms  of  head-on, 
ed^e-to-edge  opposition  between  science  and  religion — much  less  be- 
tween science  and  theology.  The  "conflict,"  the  "opposition,"  has  been 
that  of  human  beings.  On  the  one  side  we  have  had  human  bemgs 
who  have  had  certain  experiences  and  qualities  and,  on  the  other,  hu- 
man beings  who  have  had  quite  other  experiences  and  qualities.  What 
these  human  beings  have  most  often  ignored  (lost  in  the  heat  of  the 
battle)  are  such  basic  facts  as  the  difference  in  areas  for  the  scientist, 
the  philosopher,  and  the  theologian.  Let  me  illustrate  this  difference 

briefly.  .  ^^. 

The  scientist  deals  with  the  facts  of  the  material  universe.  His  great 
goal  is  to  spell  out  the  "How"  of  things.  Let  us  suppose  that  a  recent 
study  of  sexual  behavior  in  the  United  States  was  good  science  (which 
it  was  not).  The  author  finds  that  there  are  patterns  of  male  sexual 
behavior.  Thus  far,  so  good.  Let  us  suppose  (as  happened  in  a  sub- 
sequent study)  that  the  author  says  thus  and  so  "should"  be  the  case. 
The  author  is  jumping  from  the  scientific  to  the  philosophical  level, 
to  the  level  of  analysis  of  human  nature,  in  this  case  to  ethics.  Above 
this  level  is  that  of  revelation,  the  scientific  approach  to  which  is  called 

"theology."  ,     .  ,.    r     • 

This  paper  deals  with  a  problem  precisely  in  the  field  of  science 
and  philosophy  and  theology.  The  emphasis  in  our  exposition  will  be 
on  the  last-named  area,  because  of  the  request  of  our  chairman.  But 
in  dealing  with  the  relationships  of  Roman  Catholic  theology  with 
evolution,  I  shall  not  include  in  my  discussion  many  facets  of  religion. 
These  might  be  awe,  moral  implications,  personal  commitment,  prayer, 
sacrifice,  and  the  I-Thou  relationship  with  God.  I  shall  keep  solely 
within  the  bounds  of  a  purely  intellectualistic  approach. 

This  may  seem  somewhat  strange  to  those  who  think  that  intel- 

FATHER  EWING,  Associate  Professor  of  Anthropology  at  Fordham  University, 
specializes  in  "applied  anthropology  with  reference  to  missionary  work  His  studies 
of  human  paleontology  and  physical  anthropology  have  included  field  research  m 
Lebanon  and  the  Philippines. 


20     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

lectualism  and  religion  are  divorced,  if  not  positively  antagonistic. 
However,  as  a  Catholic,  I  believe  that  the  intellect,  too,  is  gravely  in- 
volved in  religion.  I  believe  that  every  Catholic  has  to  make  a  syn- 
thesis of  all  known  truth,  no  matter  whence  derived,  for  his  world 
view.  I  believe  that  truth  perceived  by  science  or  philosophy  is  ulti- 
mately from  God,  who  is  the  Author  of  all  truth.  Of  course,  the  tran- 
scendental source  of  truth  is  revelation.  But,  obviously,  any  adequate 
concept  of  God  would  preclude  the  possibility  that  truth  learned  by 
a  reasonable  study  of  God's  universe  could  ever  be  in  conflict  with 
truth  presented  to  us  by  revelation.  That  God  should  contradict  him- 
self is  unthinkable. 

Although  I  am  also  a  professional  anthropologist,  I  shall  make 
no  further  use  of  this  fact  than  to  take  for  granted,  in  this  paper,  the 
scientific  validity  of  the  theory  of  evolution.  Speaking,  therefore,  as 
a  Catholic  priest,  I  should  propose  the  following  three  major  topics 
for  my  discussion:  (1)  the  structure  of  behef  in  the  Catholic  church, 
as  an  appropriate  background  for  the  further  exploration  of  my  theme 
today;  (2)  the  outlines  of  the  history  of  Catholic  attitudes  toward  evo- 
lution; and  (3)  the  present  Catholic  position  regarding  evolution. 

The  Structure  of  Belief 

For  the  Catholic,  the  truths  of  revelation  are  contained  in  what  is 
technically  called  "the  deposit  of  faith."  This  deposit  was  left  by  Christ 
himself.  The  Church,  as  the  continuation  of  the  mission  of  the  historical 
Christ  (what  we  know  as  the  "Mystical  Body  of  Christ"),  guards  and 
interprets  this  deposit  of  faith.  It  guards  it  because  there  can  be  no 
discrepancy  between  what  Christ  taught  in  the  beginning  and  what 
the  church  teaches  in  each  successive  age.  It  interprets  it  because  each 
age— nay,  each  culture— has  its  own  particular  difficulties  and  lan- 
guage and  circumstances. 

The  scientific  theologian  (and  theology  is  a  science,  although  with 
sources  and  methods  quite  different  from  those  of  the  natural  sciences) 
finds  that  the  truths  of  revelation  are  not  all  of  the  same  rank,  much 
as  they  may  be,  for  instance,  in  the  mind  of  a  pious  peasant. 

So  we  find  that  some  truths  are  defined.  This  means  that  the  Church 
(in  this  case  by  its  pope,  or  an  ecumenical  council  which  includes  the 
pope)  has  solemnly  and  precisely  spelled  out  the  doctrine  in  question 
Thus,  for  our  future  purposes  in  this  discussion,  we  may  note  that 
the  existence  of  a  spiritual  soul  in  man  was  defined  bv  the  Council 
of  Vienne  (1311-12).  ^ 

Other  truths  are  so  clear  from  Sacred  Scripture  or  from  the  uni- 
versal and  continuous  belief  of  Catholics  that  they  are  definable.  The 


Church  defines  doctrines  only  when  need  arises.  Thus  there  would 
be  no  particular  reason  to  define  the  doctrine  that  God  is  the  Creator 
of  all  things  outside  himself,  unless  this  doctrine  were  denied  in  such 
a  way  as  to  call  for  a  reaction  from  the  Church  or  unless  this  statement 
were  to  be  included  in  a  definition  for  completeness'  sake.  Still  other 
doctrines  are  logically  derivable  from  the  premises  mentioned.  Thus 
we  go  down  the  hierarchy  of  doctrines  until  we  come  to  the  very 
lowest  category  in  scientific  theology,  the  probable  theological  opin- 

Other  witnesses  to  the  deposit  of  faith,  besides  Holy  Writ,  are 
notably  the  Fathers  of  the  Church.  These  were  public  teachers  of 
religion,  ecclesiastics  and  usually  bishops,  who  wrote  during  the  early 
centuries  of  the  Christian  Era  and  formed  a  link  between  the  time 
of  the  Apostles  and  that  of  the  later  church.  The  fact  that  they  were 
public  figures  means  that  their  teaching  was  eminently  open  to  in- 
spection; and,  furthermore,  if  the  Fathers  were  unanimous  in  stating 
that  a  certain  doctrine  was  of  Catholic  faith,  this  results  in  a  very 
high  rank  for  the  doctrine  in  question.  Also,  they  represented  the  great 
body  of  Catholics  of  their  times,  and  thus  they  remind  us  of  the  con- 
cise formula  of  St.  Vincent  of  Lerins  (fifth  century  a.d.):  "What  all 
men  have  at  all  times  and  everywhere  believed  must  be  regarded  as 
true  [he  was  speaking  of  Catholic  belief]." 

The  Church  does  not  define  doctrines  right  and  left  or  daily.  Yet, 
here  and  now,  in  the  circumstances  of  the  times,  Catholics  should  be 
kept  in  tune  with  Christ's  doctrine  and  spirit.  They  look  for  guidance 
and  inspiration  to  the  church.  So  the  church  exercises  what  is  known 
in  Latin  as  magisterium  ordinarium,  the  day-by-day  teaching,  which 
is  adapted  to  the  day  and  may  even  be  changed  as  circumstances  dic- 
tate. The  highest  and  best  example  of  this  ordinary  teaching  function 
is  to  be  found  in  the  encyclicals  of  the  popes.  The  application  of  revela- 
tion to  the  social  problems  of  the  modern  world,  for  example,  has 
been  the  work  of  the  encyclicals  of  Leo  XIII,  Pius  XI,  and  Pius  XII. 
In  the  encyclical  the  pope  does  not  normally  use  his  prerogative  of 
infallibility;  in  other  words,  he  is  not  defining  this  or  that  doctrine. 
But,  short  of  this,  the  encyclical  is  of  the  highest  authority  for  the 
CathoUc  here  and  now. 

Now  we  come  to  a  consideration  that  is  of  prime  importance  in 
our  thinking  about  Catholicism  and  evolution.  This  consideration 
is  the  role  of  the  theologians  in  the  actual  doctrinal  and  moral  life 
of  the  Church. 

We  note  in  the  original  sources  of  revelation  a  certain  economy. 
Thus,  in  the  Bible,  God  obviously  did  not  establish  an  encyclopedia 
of  all  knowledge  (it  would  be  a  dull  world  indeed,  with  no  research 

22     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

and  no  learning,  had  he  done  so!).  So,  in  the  Book  of  Genesis,  we 
find  no  erudition  about  paleontology. 

Indeed,  God  did  not  satisfy  our  curiosity  concerning  every  possible 
subsection  and  nuance  even  in  the  field  of  religion  itself.  It  seems  that 
he  decided  to  reveal  the  essentials,  those  truths  necessary  for  us  so 
that  we  might  love  him  and  our  neighbor,  that  we  might  observe  his 
Law  and  achieve  our  life's  goal  in  him,  together  with  as  many  other 
human  beings  as  possible. 

Picture  a  ship's  captain  and  his  ship  following  a  coasthne  into  port. 
He  has  lighthouses;  these  are  the  great  truths  revealed  by  God.  Close 
in,  he  may  use  his  searchlight  to  illumine  the  darker  parts  of  the  coast. 
The  hghthouses  are  suflficient  for  him  to  reach  his  port;  the  search- 
light is  a  help,  and  he  would  be  a  fool  not  to  use  it  when  he  can.  But 
the  searchlight  of  reason  can  never  contradict  the  testimony  of  the 
lighthouses,  for  the  coast  (truth)  was  made  by  God,  who  created  all. 

Just  as  there  was  an  economy  in  the  original  deposit  of  faith,  so, 
too,  the  Church  is  economical  today.  When  there  is  no  need  of  a  defini- 
tion or  even  of  the  expression  of  its  ordinary  teaching  power,  it  leaves 
the  matter  to  its  theologians.  Who  are  they,  and  what  is  their  author- 

The  theologians  we  are  referring  to  are  official  teachers  of  theology, 
usually  in  seminaries  where  priests  are  trained  but  not  necessarily  so,' 
whose  verbal  mstruction  and  publications  are  subject  to  the  scrutiny 
of  the  Church.  This  reminds  us  of  what  we  said  previously  about  the 
Fathers  of  the  Church. 

If  the  church  is,  as  we  Catholics  believe,  the  Mystical  Body  of  Christ, 
the  continuation  into  our  times  of  the  historical  Christ,  a  body  whose 
guide  and  informing  principle  is  the  Holy  Spirit,  it  could  hardly  allow 
Its  official  teachers  to  propose,  en  masse  and  for  a  long  time,  doctrines 
which  were  wrong. 

This  concept  is  different,  as  you  will  immediately  realize,  from  what 
I  may  call  the  "human"  or  "organizational"  aspect  of  the  Church 
But  the  human  factor  operates  to  the  same  effect.  Rome  is  the  highly 
centralized  center  of  the  Church,  and  its  organization  includes  human 
means  for  supervising  theological  teaching  around  the  world.  Among 
these  human  means  are  the  Congregations,  which  are  committees 
of  cardinals  and  others,  set  up  to  help  the  pope  in  administering  the 
details  of  the  Church  universal.  ^ 

In  areas  which  fall  between  the  lighthouses  of  revelation,  the  Church 
eaves  a  great  deal  to  its  theologians.  The  safest  course  for  any  Catho- 
hc  to  follow,  at  any  given  point  in  time,  is  to  heed  the  common  teach- 
ing of  theologians  at  that  time.  This  is,  for  the  average  Catholic,  sheer 
prudence.  The  theologians  are  experts,  professionals;  the  average 
Cathohc  is  not— that  is,  in  the  matter  of  rehgion. 


The  phrase  we  have  just  employed,  "at  any  given  point  of  time," 
implies  the  possibility  of  theologians  changing  their  opinion  from 
time  to  time.  I  imagine  the  average  non-Catholic  is  puzzled  by  this. 
His  Catholic  friends  (and  authoritative  Catholic  sources)  tell  him 
that  Catholic  doctrine  is  unchangeable.  In  point  of  fact,  the  question 
of  evolution  affords  us  an  excellent  example  of  how  Catholic  theo- 
logians could  change  their  opinion,  without  challenging  the  immutabil- 
ity of  CathoUc  doctrine.  And  so  we  come  to  the  second  section  of 
our  paper. 

The  Historical  Background 

Let  us  try  to  see  the  situation  as  it  appeared  to  Catholic  theologians 
in  1859,  with  regard  to  evolution.  In  addition  to  experiencing  a  sense 
of  shock,  in  common  with  many  other  people,  they  had  three  primary 
concerns  in  the  forefront  of  their  immediate  thinking. 

The  first  primary  concern  was,  of  course,  the  Catholic  faith.  In- 
volved here  was  the  interpretation  of  certain  texts  of  Scripture,  notably 
in  the  Book  of  Genesis,  but  also  in  other  books  of  the  Old  and  New 
Testament;  also  involved  were  certain  propositions  of  councils  and 
popes.  But  let  us,  for  the  moment,  stay  with  the  Scriptural  texts.  There 
had  been  no  reason,  up  to  1859,  to  doubt  the  literal  interpretation 
of  these  texts. 

The  first  and  foremost  rule  of  interpretation,  laid  down  by  St. 
Augustine  long  before  and  reiterated  in  the  famous  biblical  encyclical 
{Providentissimus  Deus)  of  Pope  Leo  XIII  in  1893,  is  that  a  text 
should  be  regarded  as  meant  hterally,  unless  reason  or  necessity  make 
us  realize  that  it  was  not  so  meant.  Some  texts  are  obviously  meta- 
phorical. No  one  thinks  that  "The  arm  of  the  Lord  is  not  shortened" 
reveals  the  fact  that  God  has  a  physical  arm.  Other  texts  clearly  show 
what  they  mean  but  are  examples  of  the  Near  Eastern  way  of  express- 
ing things.  Finally,  there  are  texts  of  dogmatic  value,  because  they 
propound,  in  language  everyone  can  understand,  truths  to  be  believed. 

It  is  of  the  nature  and  office  of  the  theologian  that  he  maintain  a 
well-balanced  conservatism.  He  is  not  dealing  with  a  new  dentifrice 
or  a  new  automobile;  nor  is  he  the  natural  scientist  who  needs  the 
latest  publication.  This  reminds  me  of  a  story  about  a  German-born 
Jesuit  at  Georgetown  University,  a  geophysicist.  At  a  meeting  he 
attended,  a  geologist  got  up  and  announced  that  it  was  high  time 
that  the  church  bowed  to  science.  Whereupon  the  Jesuit  retorted:  "If 
the  church  bowed  to  science,  it  would  be  bowing  m  every  direction 
at  vunce!" 

Obviously,  the  theologian  does  not  want  to  be,  nor  can  he  be,  a 
weathervane.  It  would  do  religion  no  good  if  he  plumped  for  a  theory 

24     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

today,  only  to  have  to  recant  tomorrow.  There  are  those  who  thmk 
that  the  theologian  was  too  slow  to  accept  the  evolution  of  man's  body. 
May  I  remind  them  that  the  scientific  evidence  at  the  tune  of  the  publi- 
cation of  Origin  of  Species,  and  much  later,  was  scant  indeed?  I  am 
referring  to  the  evidence  with  regard  to  human  evolution  and  the  evi- 
dence as  derived  from  the  probative  source,  namely,  paleontology 
of  this  there  was  effectively  none  in  1859.  There  was  Engis  and  Gi- 
braltar and  Neanderthal,  but  no  one  knew  what  to  do  with  them  I 
admit  that  there  was  plenty  of  evidence  from  all  sorts  of  sources  for 
evolution  m  general,  but  not  for  man. 

It  is  difficult  for  us  today  to  realize  this.  More  human  fossils  have 
been  unearthed  in  the  last  twenty-five  years  than  in  the  whole  pre- 
vious history  of  the  world.  But,  at  any  given  point  in  time,  the  theo- 
logian who  asked  the  scientist  for  good  and  certain  reasons  why  he 
should  change  his  interpretation  of  a  text  of  Scripture  was  more  often 
than  not  met  by  conflicting  opinions,  of  which,  professionally,  the 
theologian  was  not  a  good  judge. 

The  weaknesses  in  Darwin's  theory  of  natural  selection,  not  vet 
strengthened  by  modern  knowledge  of  mutations  and  genetics,  were 
aU  the  more  confusing  to  the  theologian,  especially  as  there  was  an 
unfortunate  tendency  to  equate  Darwin's  specific  theory  with  the 
overall  theory  of  evolution  itself .  ^ 

TTie  third  primary  concern  of  the  theologian,  in  1859  as  now  was 

he  total  membership  of  the  church.  The  "church  is  made  up  c^f  aU 

sorts  of  people-scientists,  theologians,  philosophers,  litterateurs  and 

peasams,  pirates,  and  ordinary  folks.  While  there  is  no  questTon  of 

thVrT^T'  ''"^f.^  '"^^^^"^'  "-ertheless  the  theolo^an  (and 

board  "tnd''  '"  ''^"\''  P'"P^^'  ''  ^^^  P^^^^^  g«^^'  "?cros  the 
board.  And-an  eminently  anthropological  consideration  because 
It  involves  the  mtegration  of  culture-the  theologian  has  to  think  of 

inf  v'      "^u'  "^^  ^'^"'^  °^  ^^^^"^^°"  "«t  ^^  something  ocurri^ 
m  a  vacuum  but  as  part  and  parcel  of  what  is  going  on  in  the  worM 

:^^S ^Sr^'  --''''  ^'-^''-  -"  as  in  t^^ 
From  the  beginning,  Catholic  writers  made  it  clear  that  a  soiritual 
o  Go't  'cU?  "d^nor"'"-"'  '"^  ''""'='"  spirit  LVSetc; 
doSa".  (HereTaretL":  7ZZ>S^'^:^  '='''"'" 
the  same  today.)  But  it  was  dimZt  f    T    ^'u      }^^^^^^^^^  ^^^^ 

what  was  proposed  af  a  suttitme  fof  God,  '"  ""  """  "P^"  ^™^ 


From  the  point  of  view  of  the  organizational,  day-by-day  opera- 
tion of  the  church,  the  theologian  had  only  what  we  call  "private 
acts"  to  guide  him;  these  involved  requests  of  Roman  authorities  that 
certain  Catholic  books  approving  of  evolution  be  retired  from  the 
market.  It  is  clear  that  these  acts  were  administrative  and  were  con- 
cerned with  the  opportuneness  of  the  writings,  in  view  of  the  common 
good  of  the  faithful.  No  such  acts  have  occurred  since  1909,  although 
a  goodly  number  of  Catholic  writers  have  expressed  opinions  favor- 
able to  evolution. 

Where  We  Stand  Today 

The  historical  merges  with  the  actual  with  the  year  1909.  In  that  year 
the  Pontifical  Biblical  Commission  issued  certain  decrees  about  the 
interpretation  of  Genesis,  a  part  of  the  Old  Testament  which  has  di- 
rect bearintr  on  our  theological  consideration  of  the  evolution  of  man. 
The  Biblical  Commission  was  set  up  in  1902  by  Pope  Leo  XIII. 
The  decrees  of  this  commission,  when  approved  by  the  pope,  are  an 
even  safer  norm  for  the  ordinary  Catholic  than  the  teaching  of  the 
theologians,  because  they  are  guides  even  for  the  theologians. 

In  spite  of  the  fact  that  Genesis  and  the  Bible  in  general  were  under 
heavy  fire  from  such  scholars  as  the  higher  critics  and  the  modernists, 
the  decrees  of  the  commission  faithfully  held  to  what  I  may  call  a 
"Catholic  moderation,"  a  middle  way  between  two  extremes,  reject- 
ing fundamentalism  (which  would  make  every  word  of  the  Bible 
literally  definitive  as  we  understand  those  words  today)  and  equally 
rejecting  modernism  (which  would  make  of  the  Bible  a  set  of  beauti- 
ful and  religious  sentiments  with  no  particular  connection  with  real- 
ity); the  commission  pointed  out  that  Genesis  contained  elements  of 
true' history  but  that  the  literary  form  was  not  that  of  a  modern  his- 
tory book.  And,  indeed,  such  statements  as  those  concerning  the 
creatorship  of  God,  the  special  nature  of  man,  the  fall  of  man  from 
grace,  and  the  promise  of  a  Redeemer  are  of  essential  importance  to 
Catholicism.  Without  Christ  the  Redeemer,  there  would  be  not  much 
point  to  Christianity. 

In  an  encyclical  (Divino  afflante  spiritu)  of  Pius  XII,  issued  m 
1943,  the  duty  of  the  Catholic  student  of  Holy  Writ  to  ascertain  the 
true  meaning  of  a  text,  in  terms  of  Near  Eastern  literary  ways,  was 
re-emphasized.  Other  minor  documents  of  church  officials  have  also 
underlined  this  emphasis. 

The  most  recent  ecclesiastical  document  mentioning  evolution  is 
the  encyclical  {Humani  generis)  of  Pius  XII,  promulgated  in  1950. 
In  a  small  but  special  section  about  human  evolution,  the  Pope  made 

26     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  following  statements,  which  we  shall  first  list  and  then  comment 
on  briefly. 

1.  In  any  discussion  of  evolution,  the  Catholic  must  take  for 
granted  the  spiritual  soul  of  man. 

2.  Otherwise,  such  a  discussion  is  left  open  by  the  Church. 

3.  However,  such  a  discussion  is  for  experts  in  science  and  the- 
ology, and  reasons  for  and  against  must  be  gravely  weighed.  The 
Catholic  must  be  ready  to  submit  to  the  judgment  of  the  Church. 

4.  People  should  not  take  it  for  granted  that  evolution  is  a  proved 
fact  and  should  not  act  as  if  there  were  no  theological  reasons  for 
reserve  and  caution  in  their  discussions. 

Comments  on  These  Points 

1.  The  fact  that  every  human  being  has  a  spiritual  soul  is  so  basic 
to  true  religion  that  we  are  not  surprised  to  find  that  the  Catholic 
church  has  always  believed  this  to  be  true.  The  doctrine  that  God 
himself  immediately  creates  each  human  soul  belongs  to  that  group 
of  dogmas  which  the  church  proposes  and  to  deny  which  would  make 
the  denier  a  heretic,  even  though  there  has  never  been  any  special 
reason  for  a  formal  definition.  This  is  one  occasion  on  which  God 
has  to  step  in  with  his  primary  power,  because  matter  cannot  produce 
a  spiritual  soul.  ^ 

2.  This  statement  re-echoes  what  Catholic  theologians  have  been 
saying  from  the  beginning:  a  true  evolution  is  not  in  contradiction  to 
any  Catholic  dogma. 

3.  Considering  the  actual  state  of  affairs  today,  Pius  XII  did  not 
want  evolution  bandied  about  on  the  level,  let  us  say,  of  the  tabloid 
Here,  I  should  thmk,  he  was  considering  the  generality  of  Catholics' 
who  could  easily  misunderstand  the  distinction  between  a  spiritual- 
istic and  a  materialistic  evolution.  He  also  understood  the  fact  that 
true  ideas  may  start  with  the  intellectuals  but  eventually  filter  down 
lo  ine  masses. 

4.  There  is  a  difference  between  the  terminoloPv  of  scholastic 
philosophy  and  theology  and  that  of  modem  natural  scLce  am 
preparing  a  special  study  on  the  concept  of  certitude  as  derived  from 
the  sciences,  as  compared  with  the  same  concept  in  philosoDhv  and 
theology.  But  here  and  now,  I  simply  wish  to  st^e  that  myTLuc 
tory  remark,  describing  evolution  as  a  valid  scientific  theory  is  not 
at  variance  with  the  words  of  Pius  XII  ^' 

o,£"^  "^''  ^'"°';  '^"  '°"'''''  "^  evolution,  is  treated  in  Humani 
genens.  This  is  polygemsm,  the  derivation  of  mankind  from  more 
than  one  stock  or  from  a  group  of  original  human  beings 


This  for  me,  offers  no  problem.  Science  is  in  no  position  to  prove 
a  multiple  origin  for  modem  mankind,  nor  would  it  necessarily  make 
any  difference  to  theology  if  it  could  indicate  a  multiple  origm,  the 
offspring  of  which  later  fused  into  a  single  origin.  Science  knows  noth- 
ing of  Adam  and  Eve,  considered  by  Catholic  theology  as  the  first 
parents  of  all  modern  human  beings.  But  science,  m  the  work  of 
Sewall  Wright,  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  recognizes  that  muta- 
tions are  fixed  only  in  small  populations;  indeed,  Wright  speaks  of 
the  possibility  of  bottleneck  generations,  which  may  be  reduced  to 

a  single  pair.  .  .      r  r^  a 

Modern  theologians  would  say  this  about  the  origin  of  man.  God 
is  the  Creator  of  man,  body  and  soul.  Whether  he  used  the  method 
of  evolution  for  the  preparation  of  the  human  body  or  created  it  from 
unorganized  matter  is  not  of  primary  importance.  In  either  case  he 
is  the  Creator.  But  even  if  he  used  an  already  formed  body,  he  touched 
both  body  and  soul  in  the  creation  of  man.  The  changes  m  the  already 
organized  body  may  have  been  so  subtle,  so  much  in  the  philosophical 
order  I  may  say,  that  no  method  of  physical  science  could  observe 
them.  But,  somehow,  God  raised  the  body  of  man  to  a  human  plane 
and,  of  course,  created  the  human  spiritual  soul. 

"In  the  beginning  .  .  .  God  created  heaven  and  earth  ...  and 
God  created  man  to  His  own  image."  This  is  the  primal  fact  m  the 
history  of  mankind. 

Catholic  thinkers  have  been,  by  and  large,  reserved  about  evolution. 
However,  currently,  more  and  more  theologians  are  showing  them- 
selves favorable  to  it.  One  reason  for  this  is  extrinsic  to  the  science  ot 
theology,  but  exerting  a  powerful  influence  on  it.  This  is  the  piling-up 
of  evidence,  particularly  paleontological,  which  makes  human  evolu- 
tion more  and  more  credible.  Intrinsic  to  theology  has  been  the  recent 
climate  of  opinion  among  Scripture  scholars.  The  old-fashioned  de- 
pendence on  the  immediately  verbal  exegesis  has  given  way  to  an 
appreciation  of  the  "literary  form"  of  Holy  Writ.  Thus  we  are  becom- 
ing increasingly  aware  of  the  fact  that  the  human  authors  of  the  Bible 
used  story,  parable,  and  statement  in  keeping  with  the  cultural  dictates 
of  the  Near  East;  the  most  important  thing,  therefore,  is  to  determine 
what  religious  lesson  is  proposed  in  any  section  of  the  Bible,  not  as 
in  a  modern  scientific  textbook,  but  as  in  a  document  which  is  at  once 
very  human  and  divine.  f      n  tu 

Speaking  from  personal  opinion,  I  am  sorry  that  all  too  tew  Catn- 
olic  thinkers  have  been  really  coming  to  grips  with  evolution.  They 

28     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

could  supply  the  philosophy  of  evolution  with  the  mentally  satisfying 
components  of  God  as  Creator  and  final  end  of  all  things  in  the  uni- 
verse outside  himself  and  God  as  the  Conserver.  This  latter  means 
very  simply  that  God  is  continually  creating  his  creatures — if  he  were 
to  withdraw  his  creative  power  for  a  second  from  you  and  me  and 
the  worm  and  the  elephant,  all  would  disappear  into  nothingness.  This 
means  that  God  created  not  only  all  beings  but  also  all  potentialities 
for  evolution  and  that  he  works  as  a  basic  co-cause  with  the  activities 
and  development  of  his  creatures. 

In  the  view  of  Teilhard  de  Chardin,  God  is  the  pole  toward  which 
man  is  tending,  by  a  convergence  of  evolution.  If  I  may  borrow  a 
few  words  from  Darwin's  Origin  of  Species,  "There  is  a  grandeur  in 
this  view."  Man,  with  his  genetic  roots  in  the  whole  material  universe  j 
from  atoms  to  primates,  still  has  an  element  of  the  divine  in  him  This  \ 
latter  element  was  divinized  just  as  far  as  it  possibly  could  be  by  the 
advent  of  the  Son  of  God,  and  his  assumption  of  human  nature  and 
his  redemption  of  fallen  human  nature.  Now  man,  as  both  a  natural 
and  a  supernatural  being,  individually  and  collectively,  still  evolves— 
he  still  grows  and  trends  toward  his  ultimate  reahzation  in  God 



Seldom  in  the  history  of  the  Christian  church  have  theologians  re- 
acted as  violently  to  a  non-theological  book  as  they  did  to  Charles 
Darwin's  Origin  of  Species.  Neither  the  True  Word  of  Celsus  nor 
The  Revolutions  of  the  Heavenly  Bodies  of  Copernicus  nor  even  per- 
haps The  Communist  Manifesto,  damaging  though  they  all  were  to 
the  cherished  beliefs  of  many  Christians,  evoked  so  many  wounded 
reactions  in  their  own  time  from  so  many  theologians,  bishops,  clergy- 
men, and  Christian  laymen.  Clearly,  Darwin  seemed  to  be  a  threat 
to  something  central  in  Christian  faith  and  life.  Bishop  Wilberforce 
and  William  Jennings  Bryan  are  partly  illustrations  and  partly  carica- 
tures of  a  defensiveness  that  pervaded  large  portions  of  the  Christian 
world  during  the  two  generations  following  Origm  of  Species. 

How  are  we  to  explain  that  defensiveness?  Even  if  the  answer  con- 
fines itself  to  the  area  of  Christian  doctine  and  ignores  the  important 
psychological,  sociological,  and  cultural  factors  in  the  life  of  the 
church  that  help  to  account  for  its  defensive  stance,  the  explanation 
is  not  so  obvious  as  either  Thomas  Huxley  and  Clarence  Darrow  or 
Samuel  Wilberforce  and  William  Jennings  Bryan  thought  it  was;  for 
diverse  and  even  divergent  ideas  within  the  broad  Christian  tradition 
found  themselves  threatened  by  the  doctrine  of  organic  evolution.  In 
the  opinion  of  many  theologians,  Darwin  threatened  the  trustworthi- 
ness of  the  Scriptures  by  casting  doubt  upon  the  literal  accuracy  of 
the  narratives  in  the  Book  of  Genesis;  but  Copernicus  had  also  been 
accused  of  subverting  the  truth  of  the  Bible.  The  traditional  Christian 
definition  of  the  image  of  God  in  man  seemed  to  clash  with  the  idea 
of  his  descent  from  earlier  and  lower  forms  of  life,  but  the  voyages 
of  discovery  and  the  beginnings  of  modern  anthropology  had  already 
shaken  some  of  the  foundations  of  the  classical  Christian  interpreta- 
tion of  the  imago  Dei.  Faith  in  the  direction  of  divine  Providence 

JAROSLAV  PELIKAN,  Professor  of  Historical  Theology  at  the  Divinity  School 
UniverStv  of  Chicago  has  written  more  than  a  dozen  books  on  his  specialty.  In  1959 
he  wTtSirSlSoO  AWngd^    Award  for  his  book.  The  Riddle  of  Roman  CathoUasm. 


30     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

over  nature,  as  formulated  by  writers  like  William  Paley  in  his  Nat- 
ural Theology,  could  not  stand  if  Darwin  was  right;  but  the  rational- 
ism which  Paley  both  attacked  and  shared  had  already  substituted 
its  own  doctrines  of  historical  destiny  for  the  orthodox,  largely  Au- 
gustinian,  concept  of  divine  Providence.  Darwin's  suggestions  about 
the  descent  of  man  appeared  to  make  the  Augustinian  doctrine  of 
original  sin  through  the  Fall  of  one  human  couple  untenable,  but  so 
did  the  various  versions  of  the  idea  of  pre-Adamites  that  had  achieved 
some  currency  during  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries. 

All  these  Christian  doctrines,  and  many  others  besides,  seemed  to 
lose  their  moorings  when  Darwin  cut  the  rope  between  man  and 
Adam.  One  or  another  of  them  predominated  in  the  reactions  of  vari- 
ous churchmen  to  the  Darwinian  hypothesis.  Yet  the  one  fundamental 
Christian  doctrine  to  which  Darwin  seemed  to  pose  the  most  direct 
threat  was  certainly  the  doctrine  of  creation.  If  evolution  was  right, 
creation  was  wrong:  on  this  premise,  it  appears,  Huxley  and  Wilber- 
force,  Bryan  and  Darrow  were  all  in  agreement.  Because  that  premise 
was  supported  by  so  motley  a  community  of  scholars  and  orators  on 
both  sides,  it  seems  to  deserve  some  special  examination.  This  essay 
IS  an  examination  of  what  creation  meant  originally  and  of  the  sub- 
sequent history  of  the  Christian  definition  of  creation.  I  shall  review 
the  origms  and  then  look  briefly  at  some  of  the  chief  controversies 
over  the  doctrine  of  creation  in  the  history  of  Christian  thought  with 
the  mtention  of  suggesting  how  that  doctrine  had  maneuvered' itself 
into  a  position  where  the  doctrine  of  evolution  was  a  fundamental 
threat.  From  a  study  of  those  controversies  it  is  clear  that  (under 
some  providence  or  other)  the  Christian  idea  of  creation  had  managed 
by  the  nineteenth  century  to  emphasize  those  aspects  of  biblical  and 
patristic  language  to  which  Darwinism  represented  a  challenae-  and 
It  had  meanwhile  tended  to  ignore,  or  rather  to  neglect,  thoseVpects 
of  the  tradition  that  theology  could  maintain  regardless  of  scientific 
discoveries  about  either  the  origin  of  species  or  the  descent  of  man 
1  here  IS,  unfortunately,  no  history  of  the  Christian  doctrine  of  crea- 
lon.  The  closest  approximation  to  such  a  history  of  this  doctrine  is 

Wn  f'^l^  """J'^-  ""^  "u""^''  ^  ""^'"'^^  ^§^  by  0«o  Zockler  on  the 
history  of  the  relations  between  science  and  theology— a  work  which 
IS  much  more  balanced  than  the  more  familiar  and  vastly  more  pa  d^ 
san  book  by  Andrew  Dickson  White.  But  even  Zockler's  erudite 
study  does  not  suSiciently  document  the  ambiguity  in  the  very  te^ 
creation,"  which  has  been  present  throughout  Judeo-ChristSn  h^ 
tory,  apparently  ever  since  creation. 

Certainly  it  has  been  present  at  least  since  the  Old  Testament  Al- 
though the  story  of  how  God  originally  fashioned  the  world  and  all 


that  is  in  it  comes  first  in  the  sequence  of  the  biblical  narratives  as 
we  now  have  them,  it  is  a  mistake  to  interpret  this  story  as  the  foun- 
dation for  all  the  subsequent  narratives.  Indeed,  literary  analysis  of 
the  creation  stories  suggests  that  they  come  rather  late  in  the  history 
of  the  development  of  the  Old  Testament.  But  whether  or  not  such 
analysis  is  conclusive,  it  does  seem  clear,  in  the  apt  formulation  of 
Werner  Foerster,  that 

the  primary  witness  of  the  Old  Testament  is  [the  witness]  to  the  God  who 
is  sovereign  over  history,  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  the  God 
who  led  The  people  of  Israel  out  of  Egypt  through  the  Red  Sea  and  the 
Jordan  into  the  Promised  Land,  the  God  who  directed  the  wars  of  Israel. 
The  sequence  in  the  Old  Testament  is  not  from  creation  to  history,  but 
vice  versa.  Thus  it  is  not:  "The  Creator  (subject)  is  Jahweh  (i.e.,  the  God 
of  Israel)";  but  rather  "Jahweh  (subject)  is  the  Creator." 

Therefore,  the  story  or  stories  of  creation  in  Genesis  are  not  chiefly 
cosmogony  but  the  preface  to  the  history  that  begins  with  the  calling 
of  Abraham.  Genesis  is  not  world  history  but  the  history  of  the  cove- 
nant people  of  God.  And  as  the  Book  of  Exodus  is  interested  in 
Pharaoh  only  for  his  part  in  the  Exodus  of  Israel  and  otherwise  cares 
so  little  about  him  that  the  Pharaoh  of  the  Exodus  is  still  difficult  to 
identify  historically,  so  the  Book  of  Genesis  is  interested  in  "the  heav- 
ens and  the  earth"  as  the  stage  for  the  essentially  historical,  rather 
than  cosmic,  drama  it  sets  out  to  recount. 

The  vocabulary  of  the  Bible  bears  out  this  literary  and  theological 
conclusion.  The  verb  used  for  "create"  in  the  first  verse  of  the  Bible 
is  bara.  The  same  verb  is  used  to  designate  the  sovereign  action  of 
God  in  history  in  other  passages  of  the  Pentateuch  (e.g.,  Exod.  34: 10, 
Num.   16:30) — passages  which  perhaps  constitute  the  earliest  in- 
stances of  bara  in  biblical  Hebrew.  All  instances  of  the  verb  support 
this  generalization:  bara  always  has  God  as  its  subject,  never  creatures. 
The  same  is  true  in  the  New  Testament  of  the  verb  used  to  translate 
bara,  ktizein.  Sometimes  ktizein  refers  to  the  original  constitution 
of  the  world;  sometimes  it  refers  to  an  action  of  God  in  history,  espe- 
cially to  the  coming  of  the  Christ  as  the  "new  creation."  But  always 
it  refers  to  an  action  whose  ultimate  actor  is  God,  though  the  action 
may  take  place  through  created  agents.  Thus  the  central  meaning  of 
the  biblical  words  for  "create"  is  divine  activity,  regardless  of  when 
the  "creating"  is  said  to  have  taken  place  or  how  or  from  what  pre- 
viously existing  materials,  if  any.  The  most  common  verb  for  "create" 
in  the  Old  Testament  is  not  bara  at  all,  but  asah;  and,  although  it  may 
refer  also  to  what  men  "make"  or  "do,"  it  is  employed  both  for  God's 
"making"  in  the  beginning  and  for  his  "making"  in  the  processes  of 
history,  particularly  of  Israel's  history. 

32     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Whatever  the  Genesis  stories  mean  by  "creation,"  therefore,  must 
be,  first,  part  of  what  the  Bible  means  by  the  God  of  the  covenant 
and,  second,  part  of  how  the  Bible  looks  at  the  meaning  of  the  pres- 
ent, empirical  world.  The  "God"  who  is  the  subject  of  the  verb  "cre- 
ate" is  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob  in  the  Old  Testament, 
the  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  the  New.  The  "world"  which 
is  the  object  of  the  verb  "create"  is  the  world  in  which  Israel  lives 
now  as  a  creature  of  that  God.  Creation,  therefore,  is  not  principally 
an  account  of  origins,  but  of  dependence.  It  is  not  intended  to  say 
primarily  how  things  began,  but  how  they  are  in  relation  to  God. 
The  most  solemn  celebration  of  creation  in  the  Old  Testament  is  not 
the  story  in  Genesis  1-3,  but  Psalm  104: 

Thou  dost  cause  the  grass  to  grow  for  the  cattle,  and  plants  for  man  to 
cultivate,  that  he  may  bring  forth  food  from  the  earth,  and  wine  to  gladden 
the  heart  of  man,  oil  to  make  his  face  shine,  and  bread  to  strengthen  man's 
heart.  These  all  look  to  thee,  to  give  them  their  food  in  due  season.  When 
thou  givest  to  them,  they  gather  it  up;  when  thou  openest  thy  hand,  they 
are  filled  with  good  things.  When  thou  hidest  thy  face,  they  are  dismayed- 
when  thou  takest  away  their  breath,  they  die  and  return  to  their  dust' 
When  thou  sendest  forth  thy  Spirit,  they  are  created;  and  thou  renewest 
the  race  of  the  ground. 

The  Psalmist  knows  that  man  must  cultivate  the  earth  and  squeeze 
the  grape,  but  he  looks  with  thanksgiving  and  reverence  to  the  God 
of  the  covenant  who  is  at  work  creating  here  and  now  through  these 
very  means.  ° 

Similar  thanksgiving  and  reverence  are  the  appropriate  response 
to  Gods  creatmg  activity  as  it  extends  to  man  in  the  here  and  now 
Another  Psalm  declares  (Ps.  139:13  ff.): 

Thou  didst  form  my  inward  parts,  thou  didst  knit  me  together  in  my 
mothers  womb.  My  frame  was  not  hidden  from  thee,  when  I  was  being 
Thl'"  '""'1'  ^"*"f  ^^^[y  ™"ght  in  the  depths  of  the  earth.  Thy  eye! 
beheld  my  unformed  substance;  in  thy  book  were  written,  every  one  of 
them,  the  days  that  were  formed  for  me,  when  as  yet  there  wa7none  of 

Obstetrically,  the  Psalmist  was  probably  not  so  well  informed  as  we 
are;  but  anyone  who  has  passed  from  adolescence  to  maturity  knows 

m!tin?r^"^T."  "M^^t^^^^l  gynecological  and  obstetrical  infer! 
mation  does  no  dispel  but  only  deepens,  the  mystery  of  which  the 
Psalmist  IS  speaking.  The  issue  of  obstetrical  information  should  not 
be  permitted  to  obscure  the  basic  meaning  of  the  Psahn:  that  the  God 
of  the  covenant  carries  out  his  creating  activity  through  natural  means 


and  that  he  is  no  less  the  God  of  the  covenant,  hence  no  less  worthy 
of  reverence,  for  using  such  means. 

From  this  insight  which  Israel  had  discovered — or,  as  Israel  main- 
tained, had  received  by  divine  self-disclosure — into  the  ways  of  God 
in  history  it  necessarily  followed  that  neither  nature  nor  history  had 
ever  been  without  the  presence  of  the  divine  activity  and  that  there- 
fore God  was  also  the  initiator  of  both  nature  and  human  history.  Thus 
it  is  that  the  stories  of  creation  take  their  place  in  the  biblical  witness 
to  the  ways  of  God.  The  sun  would  not  smite  by  day,  nor  the  moon 
by  night,  because  the  God  of  the  covenant  was  ultimately  trustworthy 
and  had  always  been  so.  The  story  of  the  creation  in  six  days  and  the 
story  of  Adam  and  Eve  both  belong  to  the  history  of  how  God  deals 
with  those  to  whom  he  has  bound  himself  by  a  covenant  and  a  law. 
Hence  the  origin  of  the  universe  and  the  origin  of  man  are  both  predi- 
cated of  the  God  whom  Israel  has  come  to  know,  through  covenant 
and  law,  as  the  God  of  mercy  and  of  justice.  To  the  New  Testament 
this  applies,  if  anything,  with  even  greater  force;  for  here  creation, 
insofar  as  it  receives  any  attention  at  all,  is  presupposed  on  the  basis 
of  the  Old  Testament,  ascribed  to  the  God  and  Father  of  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  and  correlated  with  redemption.  Only  seldom  in  either 
the  Old  or  the  New  Testament  is  the  Genesis  story  referred  to  as  a 
causal  explanation  of  man's  dependence  upon  his  Creator  now.  More 
often  it  is  read  as  an  account  of  what  goes  on  every  day. 

Because  the  New  Testament  presupposed  creation  on  the  basis  of 
the  Old  Testament,  there  was  no  controversy  about  creation  so  long 
as  Christianity  remained  part  of  Judaism.  But  soon  after  it  ventured 
forth  into  the  Hellenistic  Roman  world,  it  found  itself  obliged  to  de- 
fend the  doctrine  of  creation.  Both  the  apologetic  sermons  in  the  Book 
of  Acts  (Acts  14:15;  17:24-28)  quote  Paul  as  taking  up  the  defense 
of  creation  when  he  addressed  the  "cultured  despisers"  of  Christian- 
ity. Significantly,  in  both  sermons  he  is  represented  as  defending  the 
original  creation  and  the  continuing  creation  simultaneously.  Justin 
Martyr,  mingling  quotations  from  Plato  with  the  Scriptures,  was  will- 
ing to  define  creation  as  the  shaping  of  a  matter  that  was  already  in 
existence.  Against  the  enemies  of  the  faith  Justin  therefore  defended 
the  rationality  of  the  notion  that  God  was  the  Creator  in  this  sense 
of  the  word.  The  earliest-known  apology  for  Christianity,  that  of 
Aristides,  declared — according  to  a  very  late  and  rather  dubious  re- 
cension of  its  text— that  God  is  "the  one  who  arranged  all  things  and 
pervades  them  [ton  systeesamenon  ta  panta  kai  diakratounta]"  This 
appears  to  adumbrate  the  later  distinction  between  the  original  crea- 
tion and  the  continuing  preservation  of  the  world.  The  Syrian  Church 

34     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Father  Tatian,  who  proved  to  be  a  heretic  (though  on  other  grounds), 
wrote  that  God  had  first  called  matter  into  being  and  then  had  fash- 
ioned the  world  from  this  pre-existent,  albeit  created,  stuff.  Other 
Fathers — for  example,  Clement  of  Alexandria — tried  various  related 
explanations  of  the  relation  between  the  creating  activity  of  God  and 

Apparently  the  first  Church  Father  to  assert  clearly  that  creation 
was  creatio  ex  nihilo  was  Theophilus  of  Antioch.  He  writes  that  "they 
[the  prophets]  taught  us  with  one  consent  that  God  made  all  things 
out  of  nothing;  for  nothing  was  coeval  with  God:  but  He  being  His 
own  place,  and  wanting  nothing,  and  existing  before  the  ages,  willed 
to  make  man  by  whom  He  might  be  known;  for  him,  therefore,  He 
prepared  the  world."  Now  the  doctrine  of  creatio  ex  nihilo  may  be 
implied  in  the  writings  of  the  prophets,  as  Theophilus  claims.  But  it 
is  taught  explicitly  in  only  two  places  in  the  Bible,  both  of  them  in 
the  New  Testament  (Rom.  4:17;  Heb.  11:3).  Neither  of  these  places 
uses  the  technical  term  for  "create,"  ktizein;  on  the  other  hand,  all 
the  instances  of  ktizein  appear  to  ignore  the  issue  of  creatio  ex  nihilo. 
Theophilus  finds  it  a  necessary  corollary  to  the  biblical  understand- 
ing of  creation  and  sets  it  forth  as  such.  He  even  goes  on  to  say  a  little 
later  that  "matter,  from  which  God  made  and  fashioned  the  world, 
was  in  some  manner  created,  being  produced  by  God."  Faced  by  the 
doctine  of  certain  Greeks  that  the  world,  or  perhaps  matter,  was  co- 
eternal  with  God  and  that  God  was  therefore  dependent  upon  the 
world,  Theophilus  declared  creatio  ex  nihilo  as  proof  that  the  de- 
pendency in  the  relation  between  God  and  the  world  was  all  in  one 
direction.  So  began  the  identification  of  creation  primarily  or  exclu- 
sively with  creatio  ex  nihilo,  which  crowded  continuing  creation  out 
of  the  attention  of  the  theologians. 

The  identification  became  even  more  explicit  in  the  man  who 
shaped  much  of  the  theological  vocabulary  of  the  Latin-speaking 
Christian  West,  Tertullian.  His  Treatise  Against  Hermogenes  is  a 
full-scale  refutation  of  the  claim  that  matter  existed  before  creation 
Creation  must  mean  creatio  ex  nihilo,  even  though  the  creation  ac- 
counts do  not  say  this  in  so  many  words: 

If  God  could  make  all  things  out  of  nothing.  Scripture  could  quite  well 
omit  to  add  that  He  had  made  them  out  of  nothing,  but  it  should  have 
said  by  all  means  that  He  had  made  them  out  of  matter,  if  He  had  done 
so;  for  the  first  possibility  would  be  completely  understandable  even  if  it 
was  not  expressly  stated,  but  the  second  would  be  doubtful,  unless  it  were 

In  the  argumentation  of  Theophilus  and  Tertullian— and  later  on  as 
we  shall  see,  in  the  argumentation  of  Thomas  Aquinas— the  polemical 


target  of  the  creatio  ex  nihilo  was  one  or  another  Greek  doctrine  about 
the  eternity  of  the  world.  The  implications  of  this  doctrine  for  the 
Christian  understanding  of  creation  seemed  to  require  the  declara- 
tion of  creatio  ex  nihilo.  Thus  the  Christian  war  against  Greek  ideas 
helped  theologians  like  Tertullian  to  make  the  doctrine  of  creation 
primarily,  though  never  exclusively,  a  question  of  origins. 

What  helped  to  save  Tertullian  from  making  creation  exclusively 
a  question  of  origins  ex  nihilo  was  his  war  against  Gnostic  ideas,  as 
represented  by  Marcion.  A  deep  aversion  for  the  created  world  of 
matter  caused  Marcion  and  the  Gnostics  to  separate  God  the  Creator 
from  God  the  Redeemer.  Marcion  taught  that  these  were  two  sepa- 
rate gods.  The  Creator,  of  whom  the  Old  Testament  speaks,  was  in- 
ferior to  the  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Tertullian  quotes  the 
Marcionites  as  saying:  "Our  God,  although  He  did  not  manifest  Him- 
self from  the  beginning  and  by  means  of  the  creation,  has  yet  revealed 
Himself  in  Christ  Jesus."  Thus  Gnosticism  taught  a  radical  discon- 
tinuity between  salvation  and  creation,  including  in  this  latter  term 
the  present  empirical  world  of  matter.  Consistently  carried  out,  such 
a  doctrine  of  discontinuity  would  have  pushed  the  idea  of  creation 
so  far  back  into  history  and  so  far  down  into  matter  that  the  spirit- 
ually minded  Gnostic  would  not  have  to  soil  himself  with  creation 
at  all.  In  their  answer  to  this  denigration  of  creation,  Tertullian  and 
the  other  anti-Gnostic  Fathers  asserted  the  identity  of  the  Creator 
with  the  Father  of  Christ.  Christ  "entered  on  His  ministry  with  the 
very  attributes  of  the  Creator."  Therefore,  the  God  who  acts  in  his- 
tory is  the  Creator:  this  fundamental  conviction  of  Israel's  faith  found 
an  echo  in  the  church's  faith,  as  patristic  theology  defended  the  faith 
against  Gnosticism.  Nevertheless,  the  root  meaning  of  "creation"  was 
now  creatio  ex  nihilo. 

In  the  various  summaries  of  the  church's  faith  and  of  patristic  the- 
ology, that  root  meaning  took  precedence.  When  the  most  masterful 
of  these  summaries  came  to  be  composed  in  the  thirteenth  century, 
Christianity  was  once  more  contending  with  the  doctrine  of  the  eternity 
of  the  world,  revived  for  it  by  the  skepticism  of  the  Averroists  and 
by  the  rediscovery  of  the  physical  writings  of  Aristotle.  Seeing  in  Aris- 
totle the  most  complete  documentation  of  what  the  unaided  human 
mind  was  able  to  discover  about  God,  man,  and  the  world,  Thomas 
Aquinas  refused  to  attempt  what  some  of  the  Church  Fathers  had  at- 
tempted. Instead  of  trying  to  prove  from  reason  that  the  world  was 
a  product  of  divine  creation  and  not  coeternal  with  God,  Aquinas 
declared  that  this  doctrine,  like  the  doctrine  of  the  divine  Trinity, 
was  a  matter  not  of  reason  but  of  revelation.  The  dependence  of  the 
present  empirical  world  upon  God,  on  the  other  hand,  was  part  of 

36     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  system  of  motions  and  causes  that  underlay  his  celebrated  "five 
ways";  and  thus  it  belonged  to  natural  theology,  not  merely  to  revealed 
theology.  Here  once  more  the  polemical  situation  compelled  a  the- 
ologian to  stress  original  creation  more  than  continuing  creation  and 
to  make  creation  chiefly  a  matter  of  beginnings  rather  than  of  de- 

So  one-sided  was  this  stress  than  Aquinas  found  it  difficult  to  ap- 
ply the  word  "create"  to  anything  except  the  original  creation  at  the 
beginning.  He  quotes  Augustine  as  saying  that  "to  make  concerns 
what  did  not  exist  at  all,  but  to  create  is  to  make  something  by  bring- 
ing it  forth  from  what  was  already  existing."  To  this  quotation  Aquinas 
opposes  the  authority  of  the  Glossa  ordinaria,  which  comments  upon 
Genesis  1:1  with  the  definition:  "To  create  is  to  make  something 
from  nothing."  Accepting  the  definition  of  the  Glossa,  Aquinas  con- 
cludes: "Augustine  uses  the  term  'creation'  in  an  equivocal  sense,  ac- 
cording as  to  be  created  signifies  improvement  in  things;  as  when  we 
say  that  a  bishop  is  created.  This  is  not  the  way  in  which  we  here 
use  the  term  creation,  but  in  the  way  already  stated,"  namely,  as  creatio 
ex  nihilo.  In  the  conflict  over  creation  and  in  the  clarification  of  what 
creation  meant,  continuing  creation  was  not  at  issue,  but  original 
creation  was.  Thus  it  could  be  concluded  either  that  continuing  crea- 
tion was  dependent  for  its  validation  upon  the  assertion  of  original 
creation  or  that  the  two  were  quite  separate;  whichever  of  these  con- 
clusions was  accepted,  the  connection  between  the  two,  which  had 
been  characteristic  of  earlier  Christian  thought  and  language,  was  less 
prominent  than  the  distinction  between  them.  At  the  same  time,  the 
Thomistic  theory  of  essence  and  existence  provided  a  framework  within 
which  both  original  creation  and  continuing  creation  could  be  formu- 

Although  the  Protestant  Reformers  did  not  articulate  their  theories 
of  essence  and  existence  as  precisely  as  Aquinas  had,  they  retained 
the  traditional  understanding  of  creation.  Thus,  for  Luther,  God's 
"resting"  on  the  seventh  day  meant  that  "God  ceased  in  such  a  way 
that  He  did  not  create  another  heaven  and  another  earth.  It  does  not 
denote  that  God  gave  up  preserving  and  governing  the  heaven  and 
the  earth  which  had  already  been  created.  ...  He  has,  therefore, 
ceased  to  establish;  but  He  has  not  ceased  to  govern."  In  his  preach- 
ing and  in  his  catechisms  Luther  spoke  about  the  continuing  creation, 
as  did  Calvin;  but  if  there  is  any  difference  between  the  Reformers 
and  their  scholastic  predecessors  over  the  doctrine  of  creation,  it  is 
one  only  of  emphasis,  due  to  the  more  existentialist  cast  of  Reforma- 
tion thought.  The  distinction  between  creation  and  preservation,  as 
weU  as  the  continuity  between  them,  survived  the  Reformation  and 


became  a  standard  part  of  the  vocabulary  employed  by  the  codifiers 
of  Reformation  thought  in  the  Protestant  orthodoxy  of  the  seventeenth 
century.  One  of  these  codifiers,  Johann  Andreas  Quenstedt  (1617- 
85),  summarized  the  continuity  thus: 

God  preserves  all  things  through  a  continuation  of  the  action  by  which 
He  originally  produced  things.  For  the  preservation  of  a  thing  is,  strictly 
speaking,  nothing  else  than  the  continuing  production  of  it;  nor  do  they 
[creation  and  preservation]  differ  except  in  their  outward  designation  (per 
extrinsecam  quandam  denominationem) . 

It  was  not,  however,  through  its  emphasis  upon  continuing  creation 
that  the  Protestant  Reformation  helped  to  shape  the  doctrine  of  crea- 
tion, but  through  its  emphasis  upon  history,  specifically  through  its 
insistence  upon  the  unrepeatable  character  of  the  events  in  the  history 
of  God's  dealing  with  man.  The  immediate  occasion  for  this  insistence 
was  the  form  which  the  interpretation  of  the  Mass  had  sometimes 
taken  in  the  later  Middle  Ages.  Folk  piety  said  unreflectively — and 
learned  medieval  theology  said  more  carefully,  though  often  not  very 
much  more  carefully — that  the  sacrifice  of  Christ  on  Calvary  was  re- 
peated every  day  in  the  unbloody  sacrifice  of  the  Mass.  Even  after 
the  Council  of  Trent  and  the  theologians  who  expounded  the  decrees 
of  the  Council  had  introduced  far  greater  precision  and  restraint  into 
Roman  Catholic  language  about  the  repeated  sacrifice,  Protestant  the- 
ology continued  to  regard  such  language  as  a  fundamental  distortion 
of  the  New  Testament  gospel.  Protestant  theology,  therefore,  fastened 
upon  the  biblical  declarations  that  what  Christ  had  done  was  "once 
and  for  all"  {ephapax).  Therefore,  the  sacrifice  on  Calvary  neither 
could  nor  should  be  repeated  in  the  Mass. 

For  the  purposes  of  this  essay  the  controversy  over  the  "once  and 
for  all"  is  important  because  of  the  parallel  that  could  so  easily  be 
drawn  between  redemption  and  creation.  God  was  always  the  Re- 
deemer; but  he  was  this  on  the  ground  of  an  unrepeatable  historical 
event,  the  life,  death,  and  resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ.  Since  Adam 
was  a  type  of  Christ,  as  Paul  had  said  in  both  Romans  and  I  Corin- 
thians, the  conclusion  was  readily  available:  God  was  always  the 
Creator;  but  he  was  this  on  the  ground  of  an  unrepeatable  historical 
event,  the  creation  of  the  universe  ex  nihilo  at  a  specific  time  in  the 
not-too-distant  past  and  the  formation  of  the  first  human  pair  from 
the  dust  of  the  earth.  Einmaligkeit,  "unrepeatability,"  was  thus  predi- 
cated of  creation  in  analogy  to  redemption.  To  dispute  the  historicity 
of  Jesus  Christ  meant  to  undermine  faith  in  the  unrepeatable  redemp- 
tion of  the  human  race,  which  had  taken  place  between  a.d.  1  and  33. 
By  analogy,  to  question  the  historicity  of  Adam  and  Eve  meant  to 

38     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

subvert  the  Christian  doctrine  of  the  unrepeatable  creation  of  the  hu- 
man race,  which  had  taken  place  about  4004  B.C. 

It  is  an  irony  of  theological  history  that  the  seventeenth  century 
should  have  been  both  the  period  when  this  notion  was  developing 
and  the  period  when  science  and  history  were  fashioning  the  weapons 
for  its  destruction.  The  best  illustration  of  this  irony  was  the  theo- 
logical conflict  over  deism  during  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  cen- 
turies. Deism  carried  to  its  conclusion  the  definition  of  creation  as  the 
original  establishment  of  the  universe  ex  nihilo.  It  defined  God  as 
the  First  Cause,  but  it  seemed  to  define  the  "first"  in  First  Cause 
chronologically.  God  was  a  necessary  postulate  to  explain  the  origin 
of  things  and  the  enactment  of  the  laws  by  which  things  continued 
to  function,  but  he  had  no  role  in  history  since  the  creation — or,  in 
any  case,  a  smaller  role  than  traditional  supernaturaHsm  assigned  to 
him.  Orthodox  response  to  deism  was  mingled  with  various  shades 
of  orthodox  concessions  to  deism.  By  defining  creation  as  primarily 
the  doctrine  of  unrepeatable  origins,  Protestant  theology  made  the 
deist  attack  easier  and  its  own  defense  more  difficult.  The  theory  of 
"occasionalism,"  set  forth  by  some  Roman  CathoHcs  and  some  Prot- 
estants under  Cartesian  influence,  was  a  noble,  but  somewhat  pathetic, 
effort  to  reclaim  history  as  an  area  for  God's  intervention.  In  spite 
of  it,  the  net  result  of  the  controversy  over  deism  was  an  impairment 
of  the  doctrine  of  creation  that  rendered  it  largely  incapable  of  copincr 
with  even  pre-Darwinian  "evolutionism."  ^ 

This  controversy  provides  the  background  for  the  effort  of  the 
great  Protestant  theologian  Schleiermacher  (1768-1834)  to  redress 
the  balance  between  original  and  continuing  creation.  In  his  exposi- 
tion of  Christian  doctrine  he  proposed  two  theses: 

The  original  expression  of  this  relation,  i.e.,  that  the  world  exists  only  in 
absolute  dependence  upon  God,  is  divided  in  Church  doctrine  into  two 
propositions— that  the  world  was  created  by  God,  and  that  God  sustains 
the  world.  As  the  Evangelical  [Protestant]  Church  has  adopted  both  doc- 
trines but  has  not  in  her  confessional  documents  given  to  either  of  them 
any  distinctive  character,  it  behoves  us  so  to  treat  them  that,  taken  to- 
gether, they  will  exhaust  the  meaning  of  the  original  expression. 

Schleiermacher's  treatment  of  them  makes  clear  that  he  has  at  least 
one  eye  on  the  "evolutionism"  of  his  contemporaries,  a  generation  be- 
fore Darwm  s  Origin  of  Species.  His  apologetic  concern  is  to  present 
he  Christian  faith  m  a  form  that  will  make  it  palatable  to  those  whose 
Weltanschauung  has  been  shaped  by  scientific  rather  than  by  biblical 
cosmologies.  The  accusations  of  pantheism  and  subjectivism  that  have 
been  directed  at  Schleiermacher  ever  since  are  an  indication  that  nei- 


ther  his  notion  of  divine  immanence  in  the  universe  nor  his  idea  of  the 
relation  between  faith  and  fact  was  shared  by  the  main  body  of 
IChristian  theology  in  the  nineteenth  century. 

I     The  main  body  of  Christian  theology  in  the  nineteenth  century 
Ifound  itself,  on  the  Roman  Catholic  side,  allied  with  a  philosophy 
that  allowed  room  for  science  but  not  always  for  new  science  and,  on 
the  Protestant  side,  tied  to  an  interpretation  of  the  biblical  doctrine 
I  of  creation  that  ruled  out  natural  processes  like  evolution  as  the 
means  of  creation.  The  various  theories  of  British  divines  recounted 
by  Charles  Coulston  Gillispie  could  be  duplicated  and  amplified  from 
'  a  study  of  Continental  theologians,  both  Roman  Catholic  and  Prot- 
estant. All  these  theories  are  important  for  an  understanding  of  the 
theological  defensiveness  that  we  have  been  analyzing;  some  of  them 
are  important  as  the  immediate  sources  for  the  versions  of  Christian 
theology  that  Darwin  learned  and  that  Huxley  was  to  discuss  in  his 
later  years.  Because  of  the  controversy  over  Darwinism,  these  theories 
likewise  constitute  one  of  the  most  important  chapters  in  the  history  of 
the  Christian  doctrine  of  creation  and  probably  the  most  important 
chapter  in  the  history  of  the  relations  or  "warfare"  between  science 
and  theology.  Even  the  most  reactionary  theologian  today  feels  obliged 
to  pay  serious  attention  to  scientific  explanations  of  the  universe  and 
of  life,  even  though  he  may  conclude  such  attention  with  the  claim 
that  the  biblical  account  of  creation  gives  him  all  the  explanation  he 

wants  or  needs. 

The  historian  of  ideas  must  always  reckon  with  the  possibility  tnat 
a  philosophical  or  theological  formulation  has  had  its  day,  however 
glorious  that  day  may  have  been,  and  that  the  time  has  come  to  return 
it  to  history,  to  which  it  now  properly  belongs.  The  famous  aphorism 
of  Thomas  Huxley,  "Extinguished  theologians  lie  about  the  cradle  of 
every  science  as  the  strangled  snakes  beside  that  of  Hercules,"  exag- 
gerates the  valid  historical  generalization  that  theological  doctrines  are 
born  and  die.  More  often,  of  course,  they  hibernate,  to  be  awakened 
by  a  later  thaw  in  the  intellectual  and  religious  climate.  Fifty  years 
ago  the  apocalyptic  language  of  the  New  Testament  seemed  to  be  its 
more  bizarre  characteristic,  the  special  province  of  the  grotesque  sects 
along  the  fringes  of  the  church.  Yet  that  very  apocalyptic  language, 
radically  reconceived  and  reinterpreted,  moved  near  to  the  center  of 
Christian  attention  on  the  Continent  in  the  period  between  the  world 

Something  similar  may  be  happening  to  the  Christian  doctrine  of 
creation  at  the  present  time,  for  a  variety  of  reasons  both  inside  and 
outside  theological  circles.  Not  all  these  reasons  are  connected  with 
science  The  works  of  Karl  Heim  and  Teilhard  de  Chardin  are  perhaps 

40     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  most  celebrated  instances  of  how  theology  has  responded  to  recent 
trends  in  science  and  in  the  philosophy  of  science;  but  there  are  many 
other  illustrations,  from  quiet  corners  all  over  Christendom,  that  the- 
ologians are  listening  to  scientists  with  seriousness  and  humility.  So 
serious  and  humble  are  they  in  their  dedication  to  the  task  of  theology 
that  they  will  not  let  theologians  pose  as  scientists;  so  deeply  do  they 
believe  in  the  task  of  science  that  they  will  not  let  scientists  pose  as  i 
theologians.  Samuel  Wilberforce  and  Thomas  Huxley  were  not  the 
first,  nor  yet  the  last,  to  confuse  these  two  tasks  of  the  theologian  and 
the  scientist.  It  seems  that  the  climate  is  changing.  What  flowers  may 
bloom  and  what  fruits  may  ripen  in  the  new  climate  is  not  for  this 
historian  of  theology,  but  for  one  of  his  successors,  to  describe.  We 
may  perhaps  let  Thomas  Huxley  prescribe  our  credo  for  us  as  we  work 
in  this  climate.  At  one  stage  in  his  intellectual  and  spiritual  evolution, 
in  1860,  one  year  after  Origin  of  Species,  he  enunciated  this  credo: 
"Science  seems  to  me  to  teach  in  the  highest  and  strongest  manner 
the  great  truth  which  is  embodied  in  the  Christian  conception  of 
entire  surrender  to  the  will  of  God." 


Kupcinet:  Welcome  to  "At  Random,"  a  program  dedicated  to 
the  lively  art  of  conversation.  This  is  Sol  Tax,  professor  of  anthropol- 
ogy at  the  University  of  Chicago.  Professor  Tax  is  the  originator  and 
chairman  of  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration,  honoring  the  hun- 
dredth anniversary  of  the  publication  of  Charles  Darwin's  Origin  of 
Species.  It  will  be  held  at  the  University  of  Chicago  starting  Novem- 
ber 24.  This  is  Sir  Charles  Darwin,  distinguished  theoretical  physicist, 
mathematician,  and  population  expert,  the  grandson  and  namesake 
of  Charles  Darwin.  And  here  is  Sir  Julian  Huxley,  the  world-famous 
biologist  and  former  director-general  of  UNESCO.  He  is  a  grandson 
of  Thomas  Henry  Huxley,  the  noted  nineteenth-century  scientist  who 
was  one  of  Darwin's  chief  supporters  during  the  early  years  of  stormy 
controversy  that  surrounded  the  theory  of  evolution.  This  person,  of 
course,  is  Adlai  Stevenson,  former  governor  of  the  state  of  Illinois 
and  twice  the  Democratic  party's  candidate  for  the  presidency  of  the 
United  States.  Later  this  evening  we  shall  have  Harlow  Shapley,  pro- 
fessor of  astronomy  at  Harvard  University.  I  am  Irv  Kupcinet  of 
the  Chicago  Sun-Times. 

Now  that  we  are  celebrating  the  centennial  of  Darwin's  Origin  of 
Species,  I  should  like  to  ask  Sir  Julian  what  he  thinks  have  been  the 
main  contributions  of  the  theory  of  evolution. 

Huxley:  The  first  point  to  make  about  Darwin's  theory  is  that  it  is 
no  longer  a  theory,  but  a  fact.  No  serious  scientist  would  deny  the  fact 
that  evolution  has  occurred,  just  as  he  would  not  deny  the  fact  that 
the  earth  goes  around  the  sun.  Darwin's  great  contributions  were, 
first,  gathering  enormous  masses  of  detailed  facts  that  did  not  make 
sense  unless  evolution  had  occurred  and,  second,  discovering  the 
principle  of  natural  selection,  and  so  providing  a  mechanism  of  evolu- 
tion that  is  intelligible  on  scientific  grounds  without  calUng  in  any 
external  agency. 

This  abbreviated  television  broadcast,  previewing  the  coming  Darwin  Centennial 
Celebration,  was  presented  on  WBBM-TV,  CBS,  Chicago,  on  the  evening  of  Novem- 
ber 21,  1959. 


42     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Stevenson:  Is  there  no  longer  any  resistance  to  the  theory  of  evo- 

Huxley:  Two  or  three  states  in  your  country  still  forbid  the  teach- 
ing of  evolution,  and  throughout  your  educational  system  evolution 
meets  a  great  deal  of  tacit  resistance,  even  when  its  teaching  is  perfectly 
legal.  Muller,  the  Nobel  Prize-winning  geneticist,  has  written  an  ad- 
mirable paper  called  "One  Hundred  Years  without  Darwin  Are 
Enough,"  in  which  he  points  out  how  absurd  it  is  still  to  shrink  from 
teaching  evolution — the  most  important  scientific  development  since 
Newton  and,  some  would  say,  the  most  important  scientific  advance 
ever  made.  Indeed,  I  would  turn  the  argument  the  other  way  around 
and  hold  that  it  is  essential  for  evolution  to  become  the  central  core 
of  any  educational  system,  because  it  is  evolution,  in  the  broad  sense, 
that  links  inorganic  nature  with  life,  and  the  stars  with  earth,  and 
matter  with  mind,  and  animals  with  man.  Human  history  is  a  con- 
tinuation of  biological  evolution  in  a  different  form. 

Stevenson:  Why  does  Muller  say  "one  hundred  years  without 
Darwin"?  The  theory  of  evolution  has  clearly  made  enormous  progress 
from  the  time  Darwin  started,  when  it  was  almost  universally  disputed, 
until  now. 

Tax:  Muller  was  writing  about  our  high-school  system,  where  evo- 
lution is  still  taught  as  a  vague  theory.  What  would  you  think  of  a 
schoolteacher  who  said:  "There  is  a  theory  that  the  earth  is  round, 
but,  on  the  other  hand,  it  might  be  flat;  and  there  are  two  opinions 
about  this"?  This,  in  effect,  is  what  a  great  many  high-school  biology 
teachers  say — or,  in  many  schools,  find  they  must  say.  They  call  it  the 
theory  of  evolution. 

Stevenson:  They  are  afraid  of  getting  into  trouble  with  the  au- 

Tax:  Either  that,  or  they  don't  know  that  evolution  is  a  fact.  It  is 
hard  to  say  which. 

Huxley:  A  bit  of  both,  I  suppose. 

Darwin:  And  then,  of  course,  such  attitudes  are  helped  by  the  fact 
that  every  now  and  then  some  subtle  little  point  comes  up  about 
which  there  is  quite  legitimate  disagreement  among  geneticists.  Then 
the  antievolutionists  seize  on  this  argument  and  say  that  even  the  sci- 
entists don't  agree. 

Huxley:  But  all  scientists  agree  that  evolution  is  a  fact.  There  are 

two  problems  involved  here:  First,  whether  evolution  has  happened 

and  there  is  absolutely  no  disagreement  among  scientists  that  it  has. 
The  second  problem  is  how  evolution  takes  place,  and  here  there  has 
been  argument,  although  we  have  made  enormous  progress  in  under- 
standing the  process  of  evolution  and  the  role  of  natural  selection  in 

AT  RANDOM     ■     43 

it.  Natural  selection  was  a  deductive  theory,  and  a  wonderful  stroke 
of  genius.  And  now  natural  selection  has  been  analyzed  and  tested. 
We  have  found  that  it  does  occur  and  that  it  is  effective.  In  certain  cases 
we  have  even  measured  the  speed  at  which  it  operates. 

Stevenson:  What  was  that  famous  remark  of  your  grandfather's, 
Sir  Julian,  after  Wilberforce  attacked  Darwinism  so  brutally?  As  I  re- 
member, he  said  he  would  rather  be  descended  from  a  monkey  than 
be  a  man  who  used  great  gifts  to  obscure  the  truth.  I  think  Wilberforce 
had  asked  him  whether  he  was  descended  from  a  monkey  on  his 
mother's  or  his  father's  side. 

Huxley:  It  was  something  like  this:  "Is  it  on  your  grandfather's 
or  your  grandmother's  side  that  you  trace  your  descent  from  an  ape?" 
And  then  my  grandfather  was  overheard  to  say,  as  he  slapped  his 
thigh,  "The  Lord  has  delivered  him  into  my  hands."  He  had  not 
wanted  to  speak  at  the  meeting,  but  after  that  he  felt  he  had  to.  And 
this,  so  far  as  I  recollect,  is  what  he  said:  "It  seems  to  me  that  one  has 
no  reason  to  be  ashamed  of  having  an  ape  for  an  ancestor.  If  there 
were  an  ancestor  whom  I  should  feel  shame  in  recalling,  it  would 
rather  be  a  man — a  man  of  restless  and  versatile  intellect — ^who,  not 
content  with  success  in  his  own  sphere  of  activity,  plunges  into  scien- 
tific questions  with  which  he  has  no  real  acquaintance,  only  to  obscure 
them  by  an  aimless  rhetoric  and  distract  the  attention  of  his  hearers 
from  the  real  point  at  issue  by  eloquent  digressions  and  skilled  appeals 
to  their  religious  prejudice."  After  that  there  was  nothing  left  for 
Wilberforce  to  say. 

Stevenson:  I  must  say  that  there  is  a  fairly  disturbing  note  in  there 
about  the  man  with  no  scientific  acquaintance  who  plunges  into  scien- 
tific questions! 

Kupcinet:  Some  years  ago,  as  a  working  newspaperman,  Gover- 
nor Stevenson  wrote  editorials  about  the  Scopes  Trial. 

Stevenson:  My  only  possible  identification  with  you  distinguished 
gentlemen.  I  was  on  your  side  at  the  age  of  twenty-three,  writing  edi- 
torials denouncing  William  Jennings  Bryan.  That  was  difficult,  be- 
cause in  1 900  my  grandfather  had  run  for  vice-president  on  the  same 
ticket  with  Bryan.  He  always  thought  Bryan  became  a  little  fuzzy  as 
he  grew  older. 

Darwin:  Bryan  had  a  stroke  at  the  trial,  didn't  he? 

Huxley:  Yes,  and  the  implications  of  that  are  very  interesting.  If 
Darrow  had  died  of  a  stroke  during  the  trial,  it  would  have  been  called 
an  act  of  God.  But  nobody  has  ever  said  Bryan  was  killed  by  divine 

DARWESf:  If  you  or  I  were  struck  by  lightning  now,  Julian,  it  would 
be  a  very  grim  business. 

44     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Huxley:  Yes,  indeed.  It  would  go  down  in  history. 
Stevenson:  I  wonder  if  there  is  a  parallel  between  the  resistance 
to  teaching  about  evolution  in  our  schools  and  the  resistance  to  teach- 
ing about  Marxism  and  communism  in  this  country.  Until  very  re- 
cently, we  practically  equated  teaching  about  Marxism  (which  is  ab- 
solutely imperative  for  understanding  the  Russians)  with  advocating 
subversion.  I  think  we  are  much  more  enhghtened  now.  I  don't  know 
about  Great  Britain,  but  certainly  we  in  the  United  States  are  now 
beginning  to  realize  that,  to  deal  with  philosophies,  you  have  to  under- 
stand them.  And  the  more  we  study  Marxism,  the  better  able  we  are 
to  cope  with  it. 

Huxley:  Yes.  Wouldn't  you  agree  that  in  the  long  run  we  have  to 
think,  not  in  terms  of  a  head-on  collision  between  two  entirely  irrec- 
oncilable systems,  but  of  finding  a  way  to  transcend  the  conflict  in  a 
larger  synthesis.  If  you  look  back  historically,  in  the  Middle  Ages 
Islam  and  Christianity  seemed  absolutely  incompatible. 

Darwin:  Or  Protestantism  and  CathoHcism  during  the  Reforma- 

Huxley:  But  the  earlier  conflict  was  even  more  drastic,  because  it 
involved  large  areas  of  the  world  and  totally  different  religions.  One 
can't  say  that  there  is  complete  reconciliation  between  Islam  and 
Christianity  even  now,  but  at  any  rate  the  religious  difference  is  not 
a  source  of  political  nor  even  of  violent  ideological  conflict. 
Tax:  You  achieve  coexistence. 

Huxley:  You  reach  a  new  pattern  of  thought  that  comprehends 
both  systems,  up  to  a  certain  point.  And  I  think  the  really  evolutionary 
outlook  is  able  to  comprehend  many  apparently  disparate  facts  and 
to  reconcile  many  apparently  irreconcilably  conflicting  ideas. 
Kupcinet:  Is  evolution  going  on  today? 

Huxley:  As  my  old  friend  Joad  would  have  said,  it  all  depends  on 
what  you  mean  by  evolution.  Some  biologists  would  restrict  the  use 
of  the  word  to  living  organisms  apart  from  man.  But  you  would  agree, 
Charles,  that  there  has  been  an  evolution  of  the  stars  and  an  evolution 
of  matter.  Evolution  is  a  general  word,  denoting— how  would  vou 
define  it?  ^ 

Darwin:  Incomplete  constancy. 

Huxley:  No— it's  much  more  definite  than  that.  I  once  tried  to 
define  evolution  m  an  over-all  way  somewhat  along  these  lines-  a  one- 
way process,  irreversible  in  time,  producing  apparent  novelties  and 
greater  variety,  and  leading  to  higher  degrees  of  organization 
Darwin:  What  is  "higher"? 

Huxley:  More  differentiated,  more  complex,  but  at  the  same  time 
more  integrated. 

AT  RANDOM     •     45 

Darwin  :  But  parasites  are  also  produced. 

Huxley:  I  mean  a  higher  degree  of  organization  in  general,  as 
shown  by  the  upper  level  attained. 

After  the  general  Darwinian  theory  of  the  evolution  of  prehuman 
life  was  accepted,  there  were  many  poorly  thought-out  attempts  to 
apply  pure  Darwinian  ideas  to  human  affairs:  the  struggle  for  exist- 
ence, for  instance,  must  be  a  good  thing;  therefore,  highly  competitive 
economic  systems  were  good,  war  was  good,  and  so  on.  At  one  time, 
even  child  labor  was  justified  on  such  grounds.  But  the  more  one  looks 
into  it,  the  clearer  it  becomes  that  man  does  not  operate  primarily  by 
natural  selection,  because  he  has  a  new  method  for  evolving.  Man  is 
able  to  transmit  the  results  of  his  experience,  his  knowledge,  his  ideas, 
cumulatively  from  generation  to  generation,  which  no  animal  can  do. 
So  human  evolution  occurs  primarily  in  the  realm  of  ideas  and  their 
results — in  what  anthropologists  call  culture — with  natural  selection 
playing  a  minor  role,  so  that  evolution  proceeds  much  faster  and  is 
not  always  related  merely  to  survival. 

Kupcinet:  After  one  hundred  years  of  Darwinism,  what  future  do 
you  see? 

Huxley:  For  Darwinism  or  for  man? 
Stevenson:  Darwinism  is  doing  better  than  man. 
Huxley:  Darwinism  has  come  of  age,  so  to  speak.  We  are  no 
longer  having  to  bother  about  establishing  the  fact  of  evolution,  and 
we  know  that  natural  selection  is  the  major  factor  causing  evolutionary 
change.  Our  problems  now  concern  working  out  in  detail  how  natural 
selection  operates,  defining  what  we  mean  by  "increase  of  organiza- 
tion," tracing  the  general  trends  that  appear  in  the  course  of  evolution, 
and  so  on.  Of  course,  the  most  striking  phenomenon  in  biological  evo- 
lution is  the  emergence  of  mind  out  of  an  apparently  mindless  universe. 
Stevenson:  A  mindless  universe? 

Huxley:  The  emergence  of  mind  from  apparently  mindless  or- 

Stevenson:  Yes;  I  understand.  Does  mind  evolve? 
Huxley:  During  the  two  and  one-half  billion  years  of  life,  mind 
becomes  noticeable  fairly  late,  with  the  appearance  of  well-developed 
vertebrates  and  higher  moUusks  and  insects. 

Kupcinet:  This  is  where  you  and  the  religionists  diverge.  Most  of 
them  go  part  of  the  way  with  Darwin  and  agree  that  perhaps  God 
created  man  out  of  a  number  of  animals,  but  they  attribute  mind  and 
soul  to  God  alone. 

Huxley:  Darwinism  removed  the  whole  idea  of  God  as  the  creator 
of  organisms  from  the  sphere  of  rational  discussion.  Before  Darwin, 
people  like  Paley  with  his  famous  Evidences  could  point  to  the  human 

46     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

hand  or  eye  and  say:  "This  organ  is  beautifully  adapted;  it  has  ob- 
viously been  designed  for  its  purpose;  design  means  a  designer;  and 
therefore  there  must  have  been  a  supernatural  designer."  Darwm 
pointed  out  that  no  supernatural  designer  was  needed;  since  natural 
selection  could  account  for  any  known  form  of  life,  there  was  no  room 
for  a  supernatural  agency  in  its  evolution. 

Kupcinet:  But  the  churches  hold  that  it  was  God  alone  who  in- 
stilled spirit  and  soul  and  mind  into  man. 

Huxley:  But  that,  too,  is  completely  contrary  to  the  facts.  There 
was  no  sudden  moment  during  evolutionary  history  when  "spirit"  was 
instilled  into  life,  any  more  than  there  was  a  single  moment  when  it 
was  instilled  into  you.  I  know  that  certain  theological  doctrines  say 
it  is  suddenly  pumped  into  the  human  embryo  at — isn't  it  the  third 
month? — but  that  is  a  completely  arbitrary  theological  postulate.  I 
think  we  can  dismiss  entirely  all  idea  of  a  supernatural  overriding 
mind  being  responsible  for  the  evolutionary  process. 

Darwin  :  I  do,  entirely. 

Huxley:  And  biologists  do,  with  very  few  exceptions. 

Shapley  {who  had  just  joined  the  panel):  Julian,  earlier  this  day 
I  gave  a  talk  of  fifty  minutes  on  exactly  this  same  subject — science  and 
religion.  You  spoke  of  their  parting.  But  there  are  many  kinds  of  re- 
ligions. I  have  had  much  contact  with  the  liberal  clergy  of  America 
in  the  last  two  or  three  years;  and  they  accept  evolution,  without  ob- 
jecting to  it  or  worrying  about  it.  And  in  that  famous  address  in  1951 
the  Pope  went  along  with  evolution. 

Huxley:  He  still  said  there  must  be  a  God  who  is  somehow  re- 
sponsible in  some  way,  didn't  he? 

Shapley:  Well,  he  didn't  deny  God,  no.  And  you  don't,  either. 

Huxley:  I  certainly  do. 

Shapley:  Oh,  no.  If  you  defined  God,  you  wouldn't. 

Huxley:  Now  don't  go  into  semantics. 

Shapley:  You're  not  an  atheist,  Julian;  you're  an  agnostic. 

Huxley:  I  am  an  atheist,  in  the  only  correct  sense,  that  I  don't  be- 
lieve in  the  existence  of  a  supernatural  being  who  influences  natural 

Tax:  Let's  return  to  this  shift  from  mindless  to  mind. 

Huxley:  It  is  a  very  important  point.  We  only  deduce  the  exist- 
ence of  mind  in  other  persons  from  their  behavior.  I  don't  know  what 
you  are  experiencing;  yet  I  have  every  reason  for  thinking  that  you 
have  a  mind  and  subjective  experiences.  But  it  is  only  through  your 
behavior — what  you  say,  how  you  gesticulate,  and  so  on.  When  you 
get  back  to  the  human  ovum  or  early  embryo,  there  is  no  indication 
of  any  effective  mindhke  quality  being  present.  And  just  as  in  the 

AT  RANDOM     ■     47 

early  stages  of  the  individual  human  life  there  is  no  evidence  of  mind, 
so  in  the  evolution  of  life  itself  we  see  no  evidences  of  anything  one 
might  call  mental  properties  in  organisms  less  highly  organized  than 
insects,  octopuses,  or  fish. 

Darwin:  And  I  should  think  the  ecclesiastics  would  not  accept 

these  as  having  minds. 

Tax:  Minds,  perhaps,  but  not  souls. 

Shapley:  Yes,  they  would;  some  of  them  would.  I  have  invitations 
now  to  talk  at  five  different  theological  seminaries — to  the  faculties, 
not  to  the  students,  whom  they  still  protect.  One  is  Methodist,  and  one 
Presbyterian,  and  one  Unitarian,  and  one  is— I  don't  quite  know  what 
it  is.  They  want  to  know  what  science  is  saying.  And  when  I  get  there, 
they  don't  say:  "We  have  to  draw  a  line  between  certain  forebears 
of  man,  and  say,  here  is  where  mind  came  in;  and  there,  soul;  and 
there,  spirit."  They  don't  expect  that.  Where  are  you  going  to  draw 
the  line,  Julian?  Does  an  amoeba  have  a  mind?  It  chooses  between 
food  and  non-food. 

Huxley:  That  is  not  choice;  we  don't  know  that  it  chooses,  m  the 
proper  sense  of  deciding  between  alternatives. 
Shapley:  Well,  it  gets  one  and  not  the  other. 
Huxley:  That  is  another  matter. 

Darwin:  I  should  like  to  bring  up  another  point.  We  are  makmg 
calculating  machines  that  are  already  pretty  good  at  doing  the  sums 
we  set  them.  But  some  persons  have  been  trying  to  make  machmes 
that  will  learn.  A  very  bright  man  I  once  knew  wrote  an  interestmg 
paper  about  this.  He  said  that  if  you  wish  to  teach  a  machine  anything, 
you  must  have  a  system  of  rewards  and  punishments.  If  it  is  a  good 
machine,  it  is  going  to  be  rewarded;  and  a  bad  machine  is  going  to 
be  told  "Don't  do  that!"  Every  time  it  gives  the  response  you  want, 
it  will  be  more  habituated  to  it;  if  it  gives  what  you  don't  want,  it  will 
be  less  habituated.  I  think  that  in  time— and  not  so  many  years  hence 
—we  shaU  have  machines  that  won't  need  this  elaborate  complete 
drill.  The  time  will  come  when  that  machine  will  proceed  to  take 
charge  and  tell  us  many  things  we  don't  know.  As  I  see  it,  at  some 
time  that  machine  will  get  up  and  say:  "I  am  the  first  creature  that 

has  a  mind." 

Huxley:  I  don't  think  you  can  speak  of  a  mind  without  subjective 


Darwin:  But  it  will  say  it  has  subjective  experience. 

Huxley:  I  doubt  it!  So  far  as  we  know,  subjective  experience  exists 
only  when  there  is  a  particular  arrangement  of  sense  organs,  and  these 
very  odd  cells  called  neurons — 

Darwin:  Wait  a  minute.  You're  talking  about  the  human  bram, 

48     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

which  has  I  don't  know  how  many  million  cells.  The  most  elaborate  ij 
machine  so  far  has  only  about  10,000  cells.  By  the  time  we  get  thisi 
number  up  to  a  million,  won't  such  a  machine  be  able  to  do  all  these ; 

Huxley:  How  can  it  have  a  subjective  experience?  It's  made  of 
metal  instead  of  protoplasm. 

Darwin:  Why  shouldn't  metal  have  just  as  good  a  subjective  ex- 
perience as  carbon  hydrides?  This  same  man  I  mentioned  was  asked 
by  a  journalist,  "Could  your  machine  write  a  poem?"  He  thought  a 
minute  and  replied,  "Yes,  it  could  write  a  poem;  but  I  think  the  kind 
of  poem  it  could  write  would  be  more  enjoyed  by  other  machines  than 
by  a  human  being." 

Huxley:  I  should  like  to  stress  this  fundamental  point:  the  real 
nub  of  evolution,  the  aspect  which  is  still  the  most  mysterious,  is  the 
fact  of  subjective  experience,  which  is  assuming  increasing  importance. 

Tax:  You  are  much  less  of  a  materialist  and  an  atheist  than  Sir 
Charles,  yet  you  are  the  one  who  was  proclaiming  his  atheism  earlier. 

Huxley:  This  has  nothing  to  do  with  atheism. 

Tax:  If  something  is  unknown  and  mysterious,  it  is  very  easy  for 
people  to  say  it  is  supernatural — it  cannot  be  explained  naturally. 

Huxley:  That  is  not  logical.  1 

Darwin  :  I  was  accusing  you  of  being  a  solipsist. 

Huxley:  Certainly  not!  But  the  point  Tax  raises  is  very  important, 
and  it  comes  back  to  Shapley's  earlier  statement.  At  present,  the  fun- 
damental barrier  between  most  theologians  and  most  scientists  is  that 
scientists  see  no  evidence  of  a  supernatural  agency  interfering  with 
the  course  of  nature,  or  any  need  to  postulate  one. 

Shapley:  This  morning  I  was  talking  about  religion  in  an  age  of 
science.  This  religion  would  suit  you  very  nicely,  Julian,  because  it 
gets  away  from  superstition  and  miracles.  Science  can  strengthen  reli- 
gion, and  not  upset  it.  There  is  no  need  of  that.  I've  learned  from 
anthropologists  that  every  primitive  tribe,  without  exception,  has  a 
religion.  They  thought  one  group  up  the  Orinoco  was  without  religion, 
but  that  has  been  checked,  and  it  was  a  misunderstanding.  So  religious 
belief  is  built  into  us  as  part  of  a  reaction  against  mysteries  we  can't 
solve  easily.  To  make  ourselves  comfortable,  we  turn  to  miracles  and 
the  supernatural. 

Huxley:  Religion  need  not  deal  only  with  mysteries. 

Shapley:  No;  it  can  be  an  ethical  system. 

Huxley:  It  can't  be  only  that.  I  believe  that  the  only  way  to  define 
religion  in  general  terms  is  as  an  organ  of  man  that  deals  with  prob- 
lems of  human  destiny  and  with  things  and  events  that  are  felt  (here 

AT  RANDOM     ■     49 

is  subjective  experience  again)  as  in  some  way  sacred.  Religious  ethical 
systems  always  have  these  feelings  of  sacredness. 

Kupcinet:  What  about  the  future  of  man  and  the  population  ex- 

Shapley:  This  morning  I  was  talking  on  this  general  subject  of 
religion  and  science.  I  pointed  out  that  the  two  most  serious  situations 
facing  us  are,  first,  the  hydrogen  bomb  and  its  control  (either  we  live 
with  it  peacefully,  or  we  don't  live  at  all)  and,  second,  the  population 

Stevenson:  I'm  glad  to  hear  you  say  that,  because  last  week  I 
wrote  an  article  for  the  magazine  Foreign  Affairs,  in  which  I  said 
that  in  my  judgment  the  two  most  important  problems  in  the  world 
were,  first,  nuclear  weapons  and,  second,  the  disparity  in  living  stand- 
ards between  the  rich  and  poor  nations. 

Shapley:  I  don't  know  who  stole  the  other's  ideas,  but  we  agreed, 
didn't  we? 

Kupcinet:  Governor,  what  did  you  say  about  the  population  ex- 

Stevenson:  It  is  not  for  me  to  explain  the  population  explosion. 
It  is,  however,  a  political  problem  for  this  and  other  Western  coun- 
tries that,  as  population  explodes,  the  rich  nations  are  getting  richer 
and  the  poor  are  getting  poorer.  We  must  find  some  way  of  keeping 
economic  growth  ahead  of  population  growth.  We  must  provide  jobs 
and  employment,  because  masses  of  discontented,  restless  people  will 
turn  to  severe  and  authoritarian  measures  to  further  their  economic 
development.  This  problem  seems  to  me  equal  in  importance  to  that 
of  the  existence  of  nuclear  weapons. 

Kupcinet:  When  you  visited  India  recently,  I  imagine  you  found 
a  tremendous  population  problem. 

Stevenson:  Yes;  but  actually  the  Indian  rate  of  population  growth 
is  lower  than  ours.  We  always  talk  about  how  the  growth  rate  of  the 
more  fortunate  peoples  decUnes;  but  the  United  States  has  the  largest 
per  capita  income  in  the  world,  and  yet  our  growth  rate  is  now  one 
of  the  highest.  I  don't  think  this  is  necessarily  bad.  It  depends  on  the 
extent  of  natural  resources  and  the  degree  of  population  density. 

Shapley:  Many  areas  in  India  are  already  highly  overpopulated, 
and  their  level  of  living  is  extremely  low.  On  the  whole,  it  is  the  coun- 
tries that  are  getting  poorer  that  are  multiplying  faster,  and  so  the 
disparity  increases. 

Stevenson:  It  has  taken  about  forty  to  fifty  years  for  any  nation 

50     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

to  modernize  or  industrialize.  That  was  true  of  the  United  States,  of 
Britain,  Germany,  and  Japan,  and  it  is  true  of  the  Soviet  Union.  At 
that  rate,  India  and  China  will  be  industrialized  at  the  beginning  of 
the  next  century.  Now  the  industrialization  of  populations  of  that 
order  of  magnitude — over  a  billion  people  in  China  by  the  year  2000 
— means  that  the  distribution  of  power  and  authority  in  the  world 
is  going  to  shift.  The  United  States  has  taken  for  granted  for  quite 
a  while  that  we  are  the  center  of  gravity  in  world  affairs.  Now  we  are 
sharing  this  position  with  the  Soviet  Union.  It  will  not  be  long  before 
these  new,  vast,  and  overmighty  populations  emerge  industrialized, 
and  then  we  shall  be  only  one  of  several  centers  of  world  power. 

Huxley:  At  the  Planned  Parenthood  International  Conference  in 
New  Delhi  this  spring,  they  were  discussing  a  paper  by  two  American 
economists — Coale  and  Hoover — who  had  been  called  in  to  advise 
India  about  industrialization.  The  points  they  made  are  somewhat 
as  follows:  Industrialization  does  not  happen  by  itself.  A  great  deal 
of  capital  investment  is  needed,  as  well  as  investment  of  energy  and 
skill  and  the  like.  But  every  million  extra  people  means  that  some  of 
this  capital  and  skill  must  go  into  feeding,  housing,  servicing,  and 
educating  these.  After  going  into  the  problem  quantitatively  and  very 
carefully,  they  emerged  with  this  conclusion:  unless  India  halves  its 
birth  rate  within  about  thirty-five  years,  she  will  never  be  able  to  in- 
dustrialize. The  Indians  now  realize  that  their  first  problem  is  popula- 
tion control,  not  industrialization.  They  will  not  achieve  industrializa- 
tion unless  they  cut  their  population  increase. 

Darwin:  I  think  that,  in  spite  of  his  mind,  man  is  still  an  animal, 
and  he  will  obey  the  rule  that  no  matter  how  much  food  is  produced, 
there  will  be  too  many  people  asking  for  it.  Suppose  the  United  States 
exported  its  excess  of  corn  to  India,  let  us  say;  what  would  be  the  re- 
sult? The  population  of  India  would  jump,  and  they  would  still  be 
hungry.  We  have  to  attack  the  other  side  of  the  problem  of  overpop- 
ulation, and  nobody  knows  how  to  do  it. 

Stevenson:  The  old  corrective  forces  of  war  and  pestilence  have 
now  been  done  away  with. 

Darwin  :  Julian  and  I  disagree  a  great  deal  about  the  way  popula- 
tion has  been  increasing  in  the  past,  but  I  think  he  will  agree  that 
there  has  been  a  radical  change  in  the  last  two  hundred  years — quite 
a  different  order  of  increase.  This  multiplication  began  two  hundred 
years  ago — or  a  century  ago;  I  don't  care  which  we  say.  I  maintain 
that  this  is  because  man  has  solved  the  problem  of  natural  selection; 
it  does  not  operate  on  us  any  more.  The  number  of  people  must  be- 
come constant,  since  it  cannot  go  on  increasing  indefinitely.  But  what 

AT  RANDOM     •     51 

is  going  to  limit  it?  Either  there  will  be  a  reversion  to  the  old  system 
of  natural  selection,  or  else  we  shall  see  this  sort  of  problem:  the  man 
down  the  street  has  not  enough  to  eat;  you  have  food,  but  enough  for 
only  one  person.  Are  you  going  to  give  it  to  him,  and  die  yourself, 
or  are  you  going  to  keep  it? 

Stevenson:  You  don't  think  productivity  will  keep  pace  with  in- 
crease in  population? 

Darwin:  It  can't. 

Huxley:  I  agree  with  Charles  that  this  idea  of  a  race  between  pro- 
duction and  population  is  the  wrong  way  to  look  at  the  problem.  We 
shall  eventually  reach  some  sort  of  balance;  the  question  is  whether 
it  will  be  a  regulated  and  tolerable  balance  or  an  extremely  unpleasant 
one.  The  only  way  to  tackle  the  problem  constructively  is  to  reduce 
the  rate  of  reproduction. 

Going  back  to  one  point,  Charles,  where  I  slightly  disagree:  you 
said  the  high  rate  of  multiplication  began  two  hundred  years  ago.  Cer- 
tainly it  did;  but  since  then  we  have  had  the  extraordinary  phenomenon 
of  an  accelerated  increase.  The  rate  of  increase  per  annum  never 
reached  one  per  cent  until  the  present  century;  it  is  P/4  per  cent  al- 
ready and  still  climbing.  People  just  do  not  realize  that  when  babies 
born  this  year  are  old  enough  to  vote,  there  will  be  one  billion  more 
people  for  them  to  vote  about:  one  billion  more  by  the  time  they  are 
twenty-one.  Absolutely  appalling! 

Stevenson:  The  population  of  the  world  is  increasing  at  the  rate 
of  100,000  a  day,  is  it  not? 

Huxley:  Oh,  much  more  now.  When  I  first  became  interested  in 
this  problem,  I  was  shocked  to  find  the  rate  of  increase  was  76,000 
a  day.  When  I  had  to  write  about  it  a  few  years  later  and  looked  into 
the  statistics  again,  it  was  91,000.  Now  it  is  about  140,000.  That  is 
the  net  gain  every  twenty-four  hours. 

Darv^in:  Since  we  entered  this  room,  six  or  seven  thousand  more 
people  have  been  bom. 

Kupcinet:  Well,  our  audience  is  increasing. 

Stevenson:  We'd  better  get  out  of  here  in  a  hurry! 

Huxley:  By  the  year  2000,  the  net  increase  will  be  half  a  billion 
a  year. 

Shapley:  It  begins  to  look  as  if  the  human  race  is  one  of  the  worst 
things  that  has  happened  to  the  earth. 

Huxley:  Either  we  are  going  to  control  the  population  explosion, 
or  we  shall  become  the  cancer  of  the  whole  planet.  If  we  are  not  care- 
ful, we  shall  be  back  with  famine  and  starvation  and  all  the  rest  of  it, 

Kupcinet:  What  are  your  suggestions  for  control? 

52     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Huxley:  First,  we  need  a  cheap,  simple,  oral  contraceptive,  and 
then  we  have  to  persuade  people  to  take  it.  In  Japan,  for  instance, 
they  did  not  have  to  be  forced  to  use  contraception;  in  fact,  they  were 
quite  easily  persuaded  to  practice  abortion.  You  can  have  various 
degrees  of  persuasion — economic  influence,  for  instance.  Already  in 
India,  in  Madras  State,  they  pay  men  fifteen  rupees  each  time  they 
are  sterilized — well,  I  shouldn't  say  "each  time,"  since  you  can  have 
it  done  only  once!  Of  course,  this  is  under  certain  safeguards,  and  they 
must  have  had  four  children  already. 

Darwin:  But  we  have  to  face  the  appalling  difficulties  involved. 
If  the  Chinese,  or  any  other  people,  are  really  ready  to  tolerate  a  lower 
standard  of  living  than  we  are  and  if  both  know  how  to  control  our 
populations  (which  we  don't  yet),  what  is  the  consequence?  In  a  hun- 
dred years  there  will  be  three  times  as  many  Chinese  as  now.  Any 
group  that  believes  in  not  limiting  its  population  automatically  scores. 

Huxley:  We  shall  have  to  establish  an  international,  global  poUcy. 

Darwin:  Under  whose  control? 

Huxley:  Some  central  organization;  not  the  United  Nations  in 
its  present  form,  because  it  has  no  mechanism  for  dealing  practically 
with  the  population  problem. 

Darwin:  World  government  is  the  obvious  answer.  But  now  sup- 
posing a  world  government  limits  population,  but  one  part  of  the  world 
says:  We  don't  like  your  limitations.  We  are  going  to  have  more  chil- 
dren because  we  are  more  important  than  anyone  else,  and  you  can't 
have  too  many  pigmies  in  Central  Africa — or  whatever  race  it  may 
be.  What  is  the  world  government  going  to  do — kill  them? 

Huxley:  That  is  a  highly  hypothetical  situation. 

Stevenson:  You  said  that  unless  societies  Hke  China  and  India 
arrest  their  population  growth,  their  prospects  for  industrialization 
are  limited.  Do  I  conclude  that  you  would  not  make  an  all-out  effort 
to  improve  their  economic  growth  now? 

Darwin:  If  you  put  all  your  effort  into  this,  you  would  be  fighting 
what  is  definitely  guaranteed  to  be  a  losing  battle. 

Stevenson:  I  think  two  subjects  have  become  a  little  confused 
here.  I  was  saying  a  moment  ago  that  to  me  the  two  most  important 
facts  in  the  world  today  are,  on  the  one  hand,  the  existence  of  nuclear 
weapons  and,  on  the  other  hand,  the  disparity  of  living  standards 
among  nations;  that  we  shall  have  to  control  the  nuclear  weapons 
and  eliminate  them  before  they  eliminate  us;  and  that  we  must  im- 
prove the  standard  of  living  in  those  countries  that  are  getting  poorer 
while  we  are  growing  richer.  Otherwise  the  pohtical  Situation  will 
be  more  unstable,  and  the  consequences  are  inevitable.  Then  these 
gentlemen  said  that  the  real  problem,  of  course,  is  the  bursting  pop- 

AT  RANDOM     •     53 

ulation,  which  is  what  Dr.  Shapley  had  said.  Well,  we  shall  have  to 
deal  with  them  both.  But  we  certainly  can't  suspend  our  efforts  to  im- 
prove the  economic  lot  of  the  underdeveloped  countries  while  we  wait 
for  them  to  arrest  their  exploding  populations. 

Huxley:  Governor  Stevenson  says  we  must  aid  other  countries  to 
raise  their  standards  of  living;  I  entirely  agree.  But  the  key  word  here 
is  aid.  Eventually  we  shall  have  to  combine  all  the  different  forms  of 
aid — bilateral,  multilateral,  and  international — and  link  these  up  with 
population  control.  Coale  and  Hoover,  for  instance,  make  it  quite 
clear  that  if  India's  population  goes  on  increasing  as  fast  as  it  is  now, 
all  the  money  being  poured  into  India,  far  from  helping  her  to  in- 
dustrialize, it  will  lead  to  a  point  of  no  return,  with  fewer  jobs  and 
more  people  living  at  lower  standards.  We  must  evaluate  population 
problems  and  tie  in  the  remedies  with  aid.  One  of  the  conditions  of 
aid  would  be  that  they  should  have  a  program,  as  India  and  Japan 
and  a  few  other  countries  have,  of  trying  to  reduce  the  rapidity  of  in- 
crease. I  think  this  is  perfectly  legitimate.  If  a  country  asks  for  finan- 
cial or  technical  aid  and  investigation  shows  that  the  rate  of  popula- 
tion growth  is  so  great  that  all  the  aid  will  go  down  the  drain  unless 
the  growth  is  checked,  then  I  think  there  is  every  right  to  say:  "You 
won't  get  aid  unless  you  put  some  of  it  into  trying  to  check  your  rate 
of  increase."  That,  I  think,  is  what  will  happen  within  twenty-five 

Stevenson:  You  would  make  reducing  the  rapidity  of  increase  a 
condition  of  giving  them  aid? 

Huxley:  Some  of  the  aid  would  be  given  them  in  the  form  of  tech- 
nical assistance,  free  contraceptives,  or  expert  advice.  I  don't  think 
that  is  compulsion. 

Darwin:  I  wish  I  could  hear  an  economist  discuss  this  endless  talk- 
ing of  industrialization  of  all  these  other  countries.  By  the  time  we 
have  done  it,  won't  we  be  reduced  to  starvation  ourselves,  because 
half  our  life  depends  on  export? 

Stevenson:  As  the  world's  economy  has  improved,  the  economy 
of  every  nation  is  improving,  too.  The  best  markets  are  always  the 
most  highly  industrialized  and  most  highly  developed  areas. 

Kupcinet:  We  have  been  talking  about  the  underdeveloped  coun- 
tries. What  about  the  United  States  and  England?  Are  we  faced  with 
any  serious  population  problems? 

Huxley:  We  are  faced  with  the  problem  of  pressure  on  mere  space 
in  Britain.  We  live  on  a  small  island,  much  of  which  is  uninhabitable 
and  unsuited  for  agriculture.  Communications,  house-building,  in- 
dustrial developments,  national  parks,  recreation,  and  military  estab- 
lishments are  all  competing  for  space  and  the  results  are  becoming 

54     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

increasingly  alarming.  We  established  national  parks  only  ten  years  «j 
ago,  and  now  already  three  of  them  have  been  invaded  by  industry 
or  atomic  energy  plants. 

Kupcinet:  Perhaps  we  should  move  to  some  other  planet. 

Shapley:  Mars  is  no  good,  and  Venus  is  probably  no  good.  And  I 
planets  around  other  stars  are  too  far  away,  so  I  don't  think  there  is 
any  solution  to  the  population  problem  through  astronomical  migra- 

Huxley:  Even  if  Mars  were  inhabitable,  think  of  shipping  off 
140,000  people  every  twenty-four  hours,  non-return! 

Kupcinet:  Governor,  you  made  a  very  important  point  before, 
which  we  rather  glossed  over.  You  pointed  out  that  overpopulation 
can  lead  to  authoritarianism — a  communistic  or  some  other  kind  of 
totalitarian  state — when  people  are  looking  for  a  quick  answer  to  the 

Stevenson:  I  think  that  it  is  now  happily  becoming  generally  ac- 
cepted in  the  West  and  in  this  country — I  myself  have  talked  about 
it  for  a  long  time — that  this  is  really  a  great  danger  to  our  country. 
A  fact  of  greater  importance  to  the  Western  democracies  than  the  mili- 
tary might  of  the  Soviet  Union  has  been,  as  I  see  it,  the  desire  for 
economic  development  of  the  emerging  countries.  These  nations,  one 
by  one,  are  going  to  try  desperately  to  improve  their  standards  of  liv- 
ing. They  have  reached  the  conclusion  that  disease,  misery,  and  pov- 
erty are  not  the  immutable  destiny  of  man;  they,  too,  can  share  the 
good  things  of  this  extraordinary  century.  So  they  are  going  to  evolve 
and  develop  economically  one  way  or  another.  We  must  offer  them 
an  alternative  to  the  Communist  method  of  forced  labor,  forced  sav- 
ings, and  economic  development,  which  has  great  appeal  for  them 
because  they  have  the  example  of  the  speed  with  which  the  Com- 
munist states  have  developed  in  these  last  forty  years — for  example, 
the  Soviet  Union — whereas  our  societies  are  older  and  we  also  bear 
the  burden  of  colonialism.  We  have  handicaps.  Therefore,  we  must 
get  at  this  task  in  concert  with  our  friends  and  co-ordinate  our  plans 
to  make  the  maximum  use  of  the  resources  we  have;  and  we  have 
enormous  resources  to  bring  to  bear  on  this  problem  of  economic 
development.  But  this  does  not  answer  the  population  problem;  in 
fact,  it  may  aggravate  it. 

Darwin:  I  should  like  your  opinion  as  an  experienced  political 
figure.  It  seems  to  me  that  by  the  time  your  country  has  twice  its  pres- 
ent population,  the  degree  of  liberty  must  be  lower.  You  must  have 
more  laws  to  control  twice  as  many  people. 

Stevenson:  I  suppose  that  is  inevitable. 

Darwin:  And  isn't  that  really  the  point  of  what  you  are  saying 
about  the  communistic  systems?  I  fear — and  it  is  a  very  great  fear 

AT  RANDOM     •     55 

that  this  country  will  gradually  lose  its  liberties  as  its  population  in- 
creases, like  all  other  countries. 

Stevenson:  If  you  say  that  as  population  multiplies,  the  complex- 
ity of  society  increases  and  therefore  the  number  of  rules  needed  to 
regulate  modern  society,  I  think  that  is  true.  But  I  do  not  think  that 
this  in  necessarily  a  fatal  impairment  of  liberty  in  the  sense  of  the  in- 
dividual's right  to  participate  in  the  choice  of  his  government,  which 
is  basic. 

Huxley:  That  is  only  one  kind  of  liberty;  there  is  the  liberty  to 
park  your  car,  for  instance,  and  the  liberty  to  buy  what  you  fancy. 
As  things  get  really  tight,  you  will  have  to  curtail  that  liberty  and  have 
rationing  again. 

Darwin:  I  see  no  escape  from  it  myself.  If  I  may  go  back  about 
three  hundred  years,  to  what  I  consider  the  normal  condition  of  man- 
kind when  natural  selection  was,  on  the  whole,  holding  population 
nearly  constant,  in  the  literature  of  those  times — in  Chaucer  or  Shake- 
speare, for  instance — there  is  just  as  much  cheerfulness,  or  even  more, 
than  there  is  now.  I  beUeve  people  in  the  future  will  be  just  as  happy, 
but  their  happiness  will  be  felt  when  they  feel  a  Uttle  bit  safer — some- 
thing that  we  take  for  granted.  People  in  the  future  would  love  to 
have  lived  now;  they  will  think  how  happy  we  must  have  been. 

Stevenson:  My  impression  is  that  the  Black  Plague  swept  London 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  just  over  three  hundred  years  ago.  I  don't 
believe  we  want  that  again. 

Darwin:  No,  we  don't.  But  I  should  think  people  at  that  time  were 
made  happy  by  much  slighter  things  than  we  are  now;  and  I  believe 
that  happiness  is  quite  a  separate  thing  from  prosperity. 

Stevenson:  I  had  not  attempted  to  equate  happiness  and  prosper- 
ity; on  the  contrary,  this  would  be  a  contradiction  of  most  Christian 

Huxley:  But  isn't  that  a  commonplace  of  much  business  thought 
in  this  country? 

Stevenson:  Yes,  unhappily.  That  is  one  of  our  limitations.  We  are 
all  famiUar  with  day-to-day  reporting  in  the  press  and  the  emphasis 
it  puts  on  the  very  things  we  have  been  talking  about  here:  the  com- 
placency in  this  country,  the  euphoria,  the  sense  of  satisfaction,  the 
preoccupation  with  getting  rather  than  giving;  the  idea  of  "two  Cadil- 
lacs in  every  pot  and  two  chickens  in  every  garage."  We  have  a  long 
way  to  go  to  restore  a  sense  of  purpose  consistent  with  our  own  tradi- 
tions and  ideals  and  also  with  the  realities  of  the  world  in  which  we 
live.  We  have  lived  a  great  deal  of  mythology,  for  a  long  time. 

Kupcinet:  You  blame  our  communications:  press,  radio,  tele- 

Stevenson:  They  have  contributed  to  it.  They  have  a  great  re- 

56     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

sponsibility  for  correcting  all  the  unrealities  in  which  we  live — the 
mythology,  from  which  I  am  afraid  we  have  suffered,  about  the  true 
plight  of  the  world,  the  very  sort  of  thing  we  have  been  talking  about 
here;  about  the  position  of  this  country  and  the  steps  it  must  take  to 
regain  its  position. 

Kupcinet:  You  think  our  country  might  be  declining,  after  our 
star  has  been  in  the  ascendancy  for  a  long  time. 

Stevenson:  The  center  of  gravity  in  the  world  has  been  moving 
from  east  to  west  for  a  long  time.  In  this  century,  it  suddenly  jumped 
over  the  Atlantic  to  this  country.  Now  it  is  suddenly  arrested,  and 
two  centers  of  gravity  emerge,  Washington  and  Moscow  or,  if  you 
prefer,  this  country  and  Russia.  But  I  think  our  day  at  the  center  of 
the  stage  is  going  to  be  brief  and  that  new  centers  are  going  to  emerge, 
largely  in  Asia.  I  don't  know  whether  countries  like  China  and  India 
will  be  able  to  modernize  and  become  centers  of  power,  if  population 
outruns  economic  growth.  But  certainly  the  early  assumption  that  the 
United  States  is  going  to  be  the  dominant  influence  in  the  world  is 
something  we  have  to  re-examine  pretty  carefully. 

Darwin:  Just  like  the  British  in  the  mid-nineteenth  century. 

Huxley:  Which  we  now  know  wasn't  so. 

Stevenson:  I  don't  think  there  is  going  to  be  any  "American  Cen- 
tury"; I  think  more  humility  is  perhaps  indicated  for  this  country. 

Huxley:  Humility  and  a  global  sense.  In  the  long  run,  we  shall 
not  really  get  anywhere  unless  we  replace  the  idea  that  happiness 
comes  from  increased  quantity  of  things — two  television  sets,  for  in- 
stance— with  the  idea  that  it  comes  from  increase  in  living,  however 
you  define  that. 

Tax:  But  in  much  of  the  world,  happiness  is  correlated,  not  with 
material  things,  but  in  some  degree  with  having  enough  to  eat;  and 
most  people  do  not  have  that.  A  very  small  part  of  the  world  has  a 
problem  of  too  many  things. 

Huxley:  But  I  am  talking  of  the  long  run.  Governor  Stevenson 
said  we  have  to  compete  with  the  Soviet  Union;  we  have  to  compete 
not  only  in  various  economic  matters  but  also  in  giving  a  goal,  an 
aim,  for  living. 

Stevenson:  All  the  reasons  why  Moscow  is  a  dull  city  and  New 
York  is  exciting  and  interesting. 

Huxley:  The  official  Russian  doctrine,  which  they  are  often  able 
to  put  across,  is  that  in  the  inevitability  of  history  the  whole  world 
is  going  to  go  socialist;  but  the  West  has  no  comparable  vision  of  the 

Stevenson:  We  must  recapture  a  similar  sense  of  purpose,  and  we 
must  dedicate  ourselves  with  the  same  determination  as  the  Russians. 

AT  RANDOM     •     57 

Huxley:  But  not  to  the  same  goal. 

Stevenson:  To  the  objectives  that  are  purposeful  for  us. 

Darwin:  I  should  have  thought  you  would  say  liberty  is  our  goal. 

Stevenson:  I  was  going  to  say  that  the  Communist  system  is  the 
antithesis  of  what  most  of  those  peoples  who  are  now  emerging  from 
long  oppression  into  independence  want. 

Huxley:  But  so  long  as  they  do  not  have  enough  to  eat,  they  won't 
mind  about  liberty. 

Stevenson:  Certainly. 

Huxley:  Liberty,  again,  is  only  the  foundation;  it  is  freedom  to 
do  certain  things. 

Darwin:  An  old  friend  of  mine  once  said  liberty  is  the  privilege 
to  be  selfish. 

Shapley:  The  discussion  here  is  very  anthropocentric.  All  this 
time  we  have  been  talking  in  terms  of  man  about  man.  To  be  sure, 
he  is  in  a  mess,  and  it  is  a  problem  for  us.  But  think  what  a  mighty 
universe  this  is  and  what  a  small  part  man  plays  in  the  whole. 

We  should  remember  that  in  this  city  a  few  years  ago  Harold  Urey 
and  Stanley  Miller  carried  out  an  experiment  that  assures  us  of  what 
we  had  rather  suspected  for  a  long  time:  that  one  can  bridge  the  gap 
between  the  inanimate  and  the  animate  and  that  the  appearance  of  life 
is  essentially  an  automatic  biochemical  development  that  comes  along 
naturally  when  physical  conditions  are  right.  And  physics  is  about  the 
same  throughout  the  universe  we  know;  certainly  chemistry  is;  we  can 
test  that.  And  when  physics  and  chemistry  and  the  climate  are  right, 
I  think  the  appearance  of  life  is  inevitable. 

But  now  what  would  it  evolve  into?  I  think  we  fool  ourselves  in 
thinking  that  we  are  important  in  the  universe.  Our  sense  organs  are 
not  so  good  as  those  of  a  good  many  other  animals  here  on  earth.  We 
have  a  pretty  good  mind,  a  pretty  good  forebrain.  But  on  all  these 
millions  and  probably  millions  of  millions  of  suitable  planets  with 
the  right  chemistry,  climatology,  and  all,  there  must  have  been  other 
experiments  with  life.  Our  sun  is  an  average  star,  off  at  the  edge  of 
one  galaxy.  Why  should  you  expect  that  the  only  place  where  there 
can  be  high  nervous  reactions  is  on  this  planet,  on  number  three, 
circling  a  run-of-the-mill  star? 

I  do  not  believe  that  man  is  duplicated  anywhere,  for  there  are  a 
million  variations  on  the  animal  theme  on  this  planet.  But  there  is  no 
reason  to  think  that  there  have  not  been  highly  sentient  developments 
on  other  planets.  They  have  had  the  same  length  of  time,  the  same 
sort  of  experience,  some  of  them;  so  I  think  we  are  a  little  vain  or 
anthropocentric  if  we  consider  ourselves  the  center  of  life  and  the 
highest  beings  in  the  universe. 

58     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Coming  back  to  one  of  your  earlier  themes,  I  think  we  have  to  ad- 
mit that  the  price  of  social  organization  is  a  loss  of  certain  freedoms. 
The  more  our  society  develops,  the  more  some  of  our  liberties  will 
be  questioned.  We  won't  let  you  park  your  car  in  the  wrong  zone,  for 
instance.  But  I  think  we  are  happy  to  give  up  some  of  our  liberties 
for  the  privilege  of  being  civilized. 

Huxley:  I  don't  see  much  consolation  in  thinking  that  there  are 
highly  sentient  beings  elsewhere  in  the  universe,  when  we  are  in  a 

Shapley:  But  why  seek  consolation,  Julian? 

Huxley:  Wasn't  that  what  you  were  doing? 

Shapley:  Let's  seek  adjustment. 

Huxley:  It  is  very  nice  to  think  they  are  there,  but  what  have  they 
to  do  with  us?  They  do  not  help  us  out  of  our  present  mess. 

Kupcinet:  Would  you  mind  giving  your  ideas  about  the  existence 
of  life  in  the  universe  in  more  detail.  Dr.  Shapley? 

Shapley:  Life,  of  course,  is  a  natural  thing.  We  can  evolve  it,  and 
during  the  coming  week  we  shall  hear  about  evolving  it  in  test  tubes. 
What  I  should  like  to  emphasize  is  that  there  are  so  very  many  chances 
throughout  the  universe  for  the  conditions  leading  to  life.  Within  a  few 
hundred  light-years  of  earth  there  are  at  least  20,000  stars  just  like 
our  sun.  They  have  been  through  the  same  experience.  To  deny  them 
this  high  privilege  of  having  philosophers  talking  about  the  universe 
is  not  fair. 

Huxley:  Unfair  to  stars? 

Kupcinet:  But  what  form  of  life  would  you  say  exists  there?  You 
said  that  there  probably  would  not  be  man. 

Shapley:  Well,  high  sentient  beings.  This  so-called  mental  dis- 
ease, this  neurotic  complex  we  call  "intelligence,"  is  a  pretty  common 
quahty.  It  is  not  confined  to  man  but  goes  down  through  the  whole 
animal  world.  But  the  point  I  want  to  make  is  this:  There  are  at  least 
10^°  stars  within  the  distance  we  can  reach  with  our  telescopes.  That 
means  one  hundred  thousand  million  billion  stars.  At  one  time,  in 
the  past,  matter  was  crowded  together,  and  there  was  a  chance  for 
a  great  many  collisions  and  planet-forming  operations.  I  do  not  see 
why  we,  who  live  out  on  the  edge  of  this  galaxy,  should  think  our 
planet  the  only  blessed  place.  Now  that  certainly  is  relevant  to  phi- 
losophy, and  it  does  and  can  bear  on  religion.  That  is  why,  when  I 
go  around  to  the  colleges,  I  am  always  asked  to  talk  about  religion 
in  an  age  of  science.  And  the  response  I  get  is  very  moving.  You  see, 
there  was  a  time  when  we  might  say  we  swore  by  a  one-planet  god, 
or  deity,  or  something  of  that  kind.  That's  over!  We  have  to  reaUze 
that  this  is  an  enormous  universe,  and  it  should  be  a  pleasure  to  be 

AT  RANDOM     •     59 

in  such  a  big  operation.  Fancy  the  myopic  predictions  and  concepts 
of  the  ancient  Church  Fathers  compared  with  what  we  can  get  now 
from  the  laboratories  or  from  the  philosophers  who  are  following 

Huxley:  The  population  experts  are  not  very  hopeful. 

Shapley:  Again  you  are  being  anthropocentric. 

Huxley:  I  should  hope  so!  After  all,  we  are  anthropos. 

Stevenson:  Really,  the  greatest  problem  we  have  to  face  is  the 
fact  that,  for  the  first  time  in  all  human  history,  we  have  split  the  atom 
and  released  forces  of  nature  that  have  not  heretofore  existed.  We 
have,  in  a  sense,  become  master  of  the  elements,  while  at  the  same  time 
we  have  been  unable  to  master  ourselves.  That  is  how  far  science  has 
outrun  politics.  Our  major  failure  is  our  inability  to  keep  pace  with 
the  ordering  of  man's  affairs,  with  his  intellectual  triumphs.  Isn't  pop- 
ulation just  one  aspect  of  this? 

Huxley:  You  can  look  at  it  in  an  even  more  general  way.  Physics, 
which  is,  after  all,  the  most  mathematical  of  the  sciences,  is  also  the 
simplest.  Chemistry  is  more  complicated;  biology  still  more  so,  but 
we  are  making  progress.  Psychology  and  sociology  are  still  worse.  But 
there  has  been  enormous  progress  made  in  this  hundred  years  of 
biology.  They  are  now  showing  what  the  first  beginning  of  life  was 
hke,  and  I  am  sure  that  we  shall  create  life  in  the  test  tube  before  the 
century  is  out.  And,  after  all,  Charles,  your  grandfather  was  the  first 
person  to  start  a  comparative  science  of  psychology,  with  his  great 
book  on  The  Expression  of  the  Emotions  in  Man  and  Animals;  and 
then  the  Freudians  and  the  ethologists  took  it  a  little  further.  We  are 
beginning  to  know  something  about  it,  but  we  are  still  very  young. 
This  is  what  we  forget:  man  is  just  at  the  beginning  of  his  evolutionary 

Shapley:  And  why  are  we  so  far  along  in  our  scientific  career? 

Huxley:  Physics  is  easier  than  biology,  and  biology  is  easier — 
less  complicated — than  human  affairs. 

Darwin:  But  it  does  come  back  to  the  question.  Can  we  master 
ourselves?  That  is  the  central  problem. 

Huxley:  In  the  long  run,  as  Muller  said,  we  have  to  master  our 
own  genetics. 

Kupcinet:  What  about  Muller's  theory  of  freezing  the  reproduc- 
tive cells  of  persons  of  superintellect  and  implanting  them  by  artificial 
insemination  at  a  later  date? 

Huxley:  That  is  not  his  theory,  only  his  suggested  method. 

Kupcinet:  Can  it  be  done? 

Huxley:  It  is  being  done  with  animals,  of  course;  and  if  it  can  be 
done  with  animals,  it  can  be  used  with  man. 

60     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Kupcinet:  But  is  it  practical? 

Stevenson:  I'm  not  going  to  run  for  any  office  on  that  platform. 

Darwin:  I  should  put  it  this  way:  Do  you  see  yourself  as  really 
happy  when  you  know  that  your  wife  has  had  a  child  by  Isaac  New- 

Huxley:  I  can  imagine  some  persons  being  quite  proud. 

Kupcinet:  Didn't  Plato  recommend  a  similar  thing? 

Darwin:  He  did,  rather,  didn't  he? 

Huxley:  It  is  practical.  Muller's  central  point,  though,  is  that  if 
we  don't  do  something  about  controlling  our  genetic  inheritance,  we 
are  going  to  degenerate.  Without  selection,  bad  mutations  inevitably 
tend  to  accumulate;  in  the  long  run,  perhaps  5,000  to  10,000  years 
from  now,  we  shall  certainly  have  to  do  something  about  it. 

Stevenson:  Is  it  certain  that  as  the  quantity  of  people  increases, 
their  quality  necessarily  decreases? 

Huxley:  Oh,  no.  The  point  is  that,  in  earlier  centuries,  natural 
selection  wiped  out  bad  mutations.  A  man  with  a  very  serious  eye 
defect — or  whatever  it  might  be — simply  would  not  live  to  maturity. 
But  we  correct  these  conditions  with  spectacles  and  other  artificial 
aids.  For  instance,  we  keep  alive  people  with  hemophilia  who  would 
undoubtedly  have  died  otherwise.  Most  mutations  are  deleterious, 
but  now  we  keep  many  of  them  going  that  would  otherwise  have  died 
out.  If  this  continues  indefinitely — and  that  is  the  whole  point  of  Dar- 
win and  his  revolution  in  thought,  that  time  is  of  the  essence  in  evo- 
lution— then  the  whole  genetic  capacity  of  man  will  be  much  weak- 

Darwin:  Muller's  plan  impHes  that  the  masters  of  the  world  will 
be  Muller  and  his  fellow  geneticists,  whereas  I  know,  and  you  know, 
that  it  will  have  to  be  the  politicians.  Can  we  educate  politicians? 

Stevenson:  Now  you  are  asking  too  much. 

Kupcinet:  We  have  running  around  the  country  a  whole  flock 
of  presidential  candidates  who  say  that  they  are  not  candidates;  nat- 
urally, everybody  knows  they  are.  There  is  a  measure  of  deceit— 

Stevenson:  — and  strategy — 

Kupcinet:  — in  this,  which  I  think  we  ought  to  attack  someday. 
But  what  advice  would  you  give  them.  Governor,  if  you  were  asked? 

Stevenson:  I  should  advise  them  to  sit  down  with  some  of  the 
world's  greatest  scientists,  like  this,  and  they  will  realize  how  impor- 
tant science  is. 

Shapley:  Or  maybe  they  will  become  so  pessimistic  about  it  all 
that  they  will  just  withdraw  from  poHtics. 

Stevenson:  I  must  say  that,  after  talking  here  this  afternoon,  I 
was  never  quite  so  content  to  be  growing  older. 

AT  RANDOM     •     61 

Kupcinet:  Well,  Governor,  you  set  a  new  record  in  speaking  sense 
to  the  public.  I  suppose  you  go  along  with  the  theory  that  all  political 
candidates  should  talk  sense;  is  that  possible? 

Stevenson:  It  will  be  possible  only  when  the  kings  are  philosophers 
and  the  philosophers  are  kings.  That  is  a  long  way  off.  Certainly  it 
should  be  the  ambition  of  our  politicians  and  the  standard  that  we 
demand  from  them;  but,  until  we  do  so,  I  do  not  think  we  are  going  to 
get  much  better  politicians. 

Darwin:  What  is  the  definition  of  sense?  I  should  think  the  fun- 
damental definition  of  sense  is  agreeing  with  me. 

Huxley:  Or  with  the  facts  of  nature? 

Kupcinet:  Governor  Stevenson  has  to  leave  now  for  another  en- 
gagement; but,  before  he  goes,  I  should  hke  to  ask  him  this  question: 
Thanksgiving  Day  is  just  around  the  corner;  and  what  are  some  of 
the  things  we  have  to  be  thankful  for? 

Stevenson:  I  have  a  great  deal  to  be  thankful  for:  my  health,  my 
children,  my  grandchildren,  my  friends.  And  I  suppose  that  as  a  na- 
tion we  can  be  thankful  that  we  are  alive.  Perhaps  this  is  the  most 
formidable  problem  we  shall  have  to  contend  with  for  a  long  time  yet. 
It  reminds  me  of  a  remark  I  heard  the  other  day:  A  little  girl,  asked 
by  her  aunt,  "What  do  you  want  to  be  when  you  grow  up,  dear?" 
replied,  "Alive." 

Shapley:  And  you  are  thankful  you  have  work  to  do. 

Darwin:  And  that  you  are  contributing  to  the  population  problem 
— you  referred  to  your  grandchildren. 

Kupcinet:  And  isn't  it  every  man's  ambition  to  leave  the  world 
a  little  better  than  he  found  it?  Whether  we  do  so,  of  course,  is  prob- 

Shapley:  It  should  be  better;  that  is  in  the  evolutionary  picture — 
improving  conditions,  advancing  to  further  development,  subscribing 
to  the  growth  motif  in  the  whole  universe. 

«  «  * 

Kupcinet:  Professor  Tax  is  largely  responsible  for  assembling  all 
these  noteworthy  people  here  for  the  Darwin  Centennial.  How  did 
you  get  the  idea,  and  how  did  you  put  this  thing  into  operation? 

Tax:  About  four  years  ago  I  happened  to  be  in  New  York  at  a 
conference  where  they  were  discussing  evolution  and  physical  anthro- 
pology; and  the  date  of  the  Origin  of  Species  came  up.  I  thought,  some- 
body should  celebrate  the  centennial  of  the  Origin.  I  came  back  to 
the  University  of  Chicago  and  discussed  this  with  the  Chancellor  and 


62     •     ISSVES  IN  EVOLUTION 

various  other  people,  who  thought  it  might  be  a  good  idea.  But  they 
suggested  that  we  should  be  cautious,  since  we  had  no  way  of  know- 
ing that  there  would  not  be  other  centennials  around  the  world.  I  did 
the  wise  thing  and  wrote  to  Sir  Charles  Darwin  and  Sir  Julian  Huxley, 
asking  if  they  would  come  to  a  centennial  celebration  at  the  University 
of  Chicago  in  1959.  I  thought  their  answer  might  very  well  be  that 
they  would  be  tied  up  celebrating  the  centennial  in  England.  Instead, 
they  wrote  that  they  would  be  glad  to  come;  so  we  saw  that  nobody 
else  had  preceded  us  in  thinking  about  this  and  that  we  were  not  step- 
ping on  anyone's  toes. 

Huxley:  There  was  a  centennial  celebration  in  England  in  1958 
— the  centennial  of  the  Darwin-Wallace  paper  at  the  Linnaean  So- 
ciety, in  which  the  idea  of  evolution  by  natural  selection  was  first 
made  public. 

Tax:  From  that  time,  we  have  been  working  for  four  years.  We 
had  a  committee  to  choose  a  theme  and  select  participants,  and  we 
finally  decided  that  we  should  try  to  find  out  what  is  now  known, 
after  one  hundred  years,  in  various  fields  of  knowledge  that  impinge  on 
evolution  or  have  been  influenced  by  Darwinian  theory.  So  we  brought 
together  scientists  all  the  way  from  astronomy  to  biology  and  anthro- 
pology and  psychiatry  to  talk  about  the  evolution  of  "life  itself,  the 
origin  and  evolution  of  life,  and  the  evolution  of  man  and  the  mind 
— themes  that  in  some  degree  were  in  Darwin's  mind  one  hundred 
years  ago. 

Huxley:  I  was  very  much  honored  to  receive  an  invitation  to  come 
here  for  three  months  with  the  title  of  Visiting  Professor — but  really 
professing  nothing,  except  helping  so  far  as  I  can  with  the  business 
of  this  Centennial.  I  am  sure  that  it  is  going  to  be  very  important. 
To  me  its  most  interesting  feature  is  that  a  great  many  persons  con- 
cerned with  the  sciences  of  man — anthropology,  archeology,  psychol- 
ogy— are  going  to  discuss  problems  with  persons  concerned  with  the 
biological,  and  some  indeed  with  the  physical  and  astronomical,  sci- 
ences. There  has  been  too  much  cleavage  between  anthropolocrists 

in  the  broad  sense — and  biologists.  This  Celebration  should  b^  very 
fruitful  in  bridging  this  gap. 

Darwin:  I  learned  a  very  interesting  thing  at  the  Linnaean  celebra- 
tion last  year.  The  joint  paper  by  my  grandfather  and  Wallace  was 
printed  by  the  Linnaean  Society  in  July  of  1858.  Only  two  notices 
were  taken  of  it.  One  was  by  the  president  of  the  Society,  who  at 
Christmas  reviewed  the  activities  of  the  past  year;  and  he  said  that 
they  had  had  a  grand  year  with  a  great  deal  of  success,  but  unmarked 
by  any  conspicuous  events  whatsoever.  And  the  other,  I  think,  was  a 
professor  at  Dublin,  who  wrote  a  short  paper  saying  that  half  the 


things  Darwin  and  Wallace  said  were  familiar  and  the  other  half 


Huxley:  The  theory  of  evolution  was  in  the  air,  however.  Asa  Gray 
had  got  halfway;  Lyell,  a  third  of  the  way.  It  would  have  been  formu- 
lated well  before  the  end  of  the  century,  even  if  Darwin  had  died. 
But  it  would  not  have  happened  in  the  same  decisive  way.  Darwin 
not  only  had  this  brilliant  inspiration  of  natural  selection  but  also 
collected  a  great  volume  of  facts  to  buttress  the  idea  of  transforma- 
tion— which  was  what  evolution  was  then  generally  called.  And  he 
did  what  Wallace  did  not  even  try  to  do  until  much  later:  he  deduced 
many  consequences  from  the  principle  of  natural  selection,  which  you 
can  still  read  with  profit  today.  For  instance,  it  is  amazing  to  find  in 
the  Origin  the  idea  of  what  we  call  biological  advance  or  improvement 
in  organization  and  the  idea  of  branching,  or  divergence,  both  of  them 
well  documented  and  clearly  explained. 

It  is  very  interesting  that  Darwin  was  so  hesitant  to  pubUsh  his 
theory  for  all  sorts  of  psychological  and  scientific  reasons.  Actually, 
I  think  it  was  a  good  thing  he  timed  it  as  he  did;  if  he  had  delayed 
much  longer,  it  might  have  become  stale,  and  if  he  had  put  it  out 
quickly,  as  Wallace  put  out  his  material,  it  would  have  been  prema- 
ture and  would  not  have  come  out  in  such  a  convincing  way,  and  we 
today  would  not  have  been  anywhere  near  so  far  advanced.  Look 
what  Darwin  did  with  the  whole  idea  of  sexual  selection  and  variation 
under  domestication. 

Darwin:  But  the  majority  of  the  scientists  took  twenty  years  after 
the  book  appeared  before  they  accepted  evolution.  Julian's  grandfather 
accepted  it  at  once,  but  a  great  many  people  did  not. 

Huxley:  Yes,  of  course;  but  the  people  who  mattered  did  accept 

it  immediately. 

Darwin:  I  have  an  enormous  admiration  for  Julian's  grandfather. 
I  remember  once  he  was  defending  the  evolutionary  theory  against 
a  man  who  was  a  good  scientist  but  insisted  that  a  species  was  a  species. 
And  Huxley  took  what  I  regard  as  the  absolutely  perfect  example.  He 
said,  "Do  you  really  believe  that  at  one  moment  all  the  molecules 
jump  together  suddenly  somewhere  in  space  to  create  a  perfect  full- 
grown  rhinoceros?"  I  think  his  choice  of  rhinoceros  was  perfect;  an 
elephant  would  not  have  been  nearly  as  good. 

Tax:  I  think  it  is  important  to  say — as  some  things  Sir  Julian  has 
said  imply— that  the  Origin  of  Species  and  all  of  Darwin's  works  are 
not  being  celebrated  as  something  in  the  past.  They  are  books  that 
still  need  to  be  studied,  in  spite  of  one  hundred  years.  You  cannot 
say  that  about  many  scientific  books. 

Huxley:  Not  all  Darwin's  books  can  still  be  studied  with  profit, 


64     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

of  course.  Animals  and  Plants  under  Domestication,  for  instance,  is 
useful  only  for  historical  reasons;  but  the  Expression  of  the  Emotions 
and  the  Origin  and  much  of  the  Descent  of  Man  are  still  very  well 
worth  reading. 

«  *  * 

Kupcinet:  Before  we  conclude  this  program,  what  hope  do  you 
see  for  mankind?  Are  we  going  to  regress  or  progress? 

Huxley:  The  three  big  problems  are  preventing  our  civilization's 
being  wiped  out  by  atomic  warfare;  preventing  overpopulation  from 
engulfing  the  world;  and  bringing  the  underprivileged  nations  up  to 
an  improved  standard  of  living.  I  think  that,  if  we  really  try,  we  can 
deal  with  all  of  these  reasonably  well.  Of  course,  we  shall  never  suc- 
ceed 100  per  cent;  evolution  never  does.  All  the  results  of  evolution 
are  compromises. 

Shapley:  You  sound  like  an  optimist. 

Huxley:  Well,  I  am;  though  I'm  a  tempered  optimist.  Charles  is 
the  pessimist. 

Darwin:  I  am  afraid  my  outlook  is  that  we  have  to  let  the  future 

Huxley:  But  can  we  do  nothing  to  alter  it? 

Darwin:  I  do  not  think  man  will  master  himself,  nor  do  I  think 
we  shall  develop  a  world  government.  There  not  being  enough  to  eat 
is  what  worries  me. 

Kupcinet:  It  boils  down  in  your  estimation  to  enough  to  eat? 

Darwin:  Finally,  yes.  Don't  you  think  so? 

Kupcinet:  I  agree  with  you,  but  I  am  a  little  more  hopeful  that 
we  can  master  such  a  basic  problem. 

Darwin:  I  contend  that  whenever  we  have  more  to  eat,  we  shall 
have  too  many  people  asking  for  it.  Remember,  half  the  world  does 
not  have  enough  to  eat  now. 

Huxley:  So  we  must  reduce  the  number  of  people. 

Kupcinet:  Do  you  see  any  hopeful  signs  that  birth  control  will 
eventually  take  hold? 

Huxley:  In  the  last  few  weeks,  two  official  groups — the  Draper 
Committee  and  the  Senate  Foreign  Relations  Committee — have  re- 
ported that  the  United  States  should  take  population  increase  into  con- 
sideration when  granting  foreign  aid.  Even  Life  magazine  came  out 
with  a  spread  on  birth  control  in  a  recent  issue,  and  two  major  net- 
works have  had  programs  about  overpopulation.  All  this  happened 
in  six  weeks. 

Darwin:  Most  encouraging. 

Kupcinet:  What  about  the  worlds  outside  this  planet? 

AT  RANDOM     •     65 

Shapley:  They  will  get  along  all  right.  Even  eliminating  this  planet 
is  not  going  to  affect  other  planets  in  this  system  appreciably,  and  cer- 
tainly not  the  rest  of  the  universe.  But  the  earth  will  go  on,  as  it  has  for 
the  several  thousand  million  years  before  man  began  messing  up  this 
particular  planetary  surface.  And  man  will  not  escape  this  surface; 
he  may  pepper  the  moon,  here  and  there,  with  rockets,  but  he  can  do 
nothing  serious. 

Darv^in  :  I  don't  think  we  should  ever  say  with  real  confidence  that 
we  could  not  throw  the  solar  system  into  a  new  star — a  supernova. 

Shapley:  Even  a  supernova  popping  up  here  would  die  off  soon. 

Darwin:  We  don't  know  enough  yet,  but — 

Shapley:  But  if  we  try,  we  may  learn  how  to  blow  up  the  whole 

Darwin:  That  would  solve  our  population  problem. 

Shapley:  Seriously,  it  seems  to  me  that  our  problem  is  to  try  to 
be  rational;  to  use  reason — 

Huxley:  — and  a  little  imagination. 

Shapley:  It  will  take  imagination  and  opportunity  and  freedom 
from  too  much  fussing  around  with  diplomacy.  Man's  worst  enemy 
is  man;  that  has  been  recognized  for  a  long  time.  So  if  you  get  rid 
of  man,  man  will  have  no  enemies.  One  of  the  best  things  to  be  said 
for  this  planet  is  that  it  is  a  wonderful  place  on  which  to  set  up  lab- 
oratories and  mount  telescopes  to  study  the  rest  of  the  universe. 

Huxley:  Make  the  world  safe  for  astronomy! 




This  evening  I  shall  inaugurate  the  Centennial  Celebration  as  a  whole. 
Now  I  introduce  only  the  series  of  panel  discussions  on  issues  in  evo- 
lution, which  is  the  heart  of  the  Darwin  Celebration. 

Charles  Darwin's  book,  Origin  of  Species,  published  one  hundred 
years  ago  today,  did  two  different  things.  First,  it  presented  the  rich 
wealth  of  empirical  evidence  needed  to  convince  reasonable  men  that 
the  variety  of  forms  of  plant  and  animal  life,  including  man,  owed 
their  similarities  and  differences  to  natural  causes;  all  of  living  nature 
is  part  of  an  ongoing  process  of  evolution.  Second,  the  book  presented 
particular  theories  of  the  mechanisms  through  which  evolution  oper- 
ates, particularly  the  mechanism  of  natural  selection,  or  the  survival 
of  the  fittest.  Note,  indeed,  that  the  full  title  was  On  the  Origin  of 
Species  by  Means  of  Natural  Selection.  The  book  would  not  have  been 
convincing  without  both. 

If  God  did  not  in  six  days,  six  thousand  years  ago,  create  the  dif- 
ferent species  we  see  about  us,  how  did  this  wonderful  variety  come 
about?  If  all  plants  and  animals,  including  man,  are  part  of  a  single 
system,  how  did  they  arise  one  from  another — difference  out  of  same- 
ness? Roses  beget  roses;  termites  beget  termites;  men  beget  men.  Com- 
mon sense  sees  this  continuity,  yet  denies  the  relationship.  It  requires 
great  imagination,  as  well  as  logic  and  evidence,  to  see  that  roses, 
termites,  and  men  are  cousins.  It  requires  a  change  in  habits  of  thought 
from  seeing  things  as  fixed  and  static  to  seeing  things  as  always  chang- 
ing. Europe  in  the  mid-nineteenth  century  was  doubtless  ready  for  a 
revolution  in  human  thought.  Darwin's  book  provided  at  once  the 
call  to  arms  and  a  full  arsenal  to  bring  it  off— an  arsenal  of  concepts 
and  of  facts  impossible  to  explain  away. 

This  week  at  the  University  of  Chicago  we  are  not  examining  the 
notion  of  evolution  itself,  which  all  of  us  now  take  for  granted  as  much 
as  we  do  the  fact  that  the  earth  is  a  sphere  revolving  around  the  sun. 
We  are  looking  at  the  particulars.  After  one  hundred  years  of  Dar- 
winian theory,  where  do  we  stand? 

Each  of  forty-five  specialists  has,  in  the  past  three  years,  reviewed 


68     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

his  special  knowledge  and  reconsidered  it  from  this  point  of  view.  We 
have  exchanged  our  papers,  read,  learned,  criticized,  and  revised. 
Meanwhile,  our  committee  in  Chicago  was  reading  the  papers.  Almost 
a  year  ago  it  became  empirically  evident  that  we  could  deal  with 
questions  of  evolution  under  five  headings:  "The  Origin  of  Life,"  "The 
Evolution  of  Life,"  "Man  as  an  Organism,"  "The  Evolution  of  Mind," 
and  "Social  and  Cultural  Evolution."  By  correspondence,  the  issues 
so  classified  began  to  take  form.  This  autumn  at  the  University  of 
Chicago  some  thirty  faculty  members  and  fifty  selected  graduate  stu- 
dents from  twenty  different  departments  volunteered  to  study  the 
papers  and  to  think  and  talk  through  the  issues  in  the  study  of  evolu- 
tion, as  seen  under  these  five  headings.  By  the  time  we  all  gathered  on 
Sunday,  November  22,  we  had  working  documents  at  hand,  and  it 
was  possible  to  agree  on  the  agenda  for  discussion.  All  told,  there  are 
some  fifty  major  questions  for  discussion,  which  in  the  coming  five  days 
will  fill  in  our  picture. 

Charles  Darwin  broke  through  a  tremendous  fog  and,  one  hun- 
dred years  ago  this  very  day,  gave  us  a  new  understanding  and  per- 
spective, on  the  basis  of  which  we  have  done  a  hundred  years  of  fruit- 
ful research.  The  tremendous  knowledge  gained  in  these  hundred 
years  of  science  we  hope  this  week  to  summarize  and  synthesize.  But 
more  than  that,  I  at  least  have  some  hope,  or  fond  illusion,  that  on 
this  occasion  and  in  this  hall  we  can  take  a  new,  great  step  forward, 
to  begin  a  second  century  of  understanding  ourselves  and  our  cosmos 
that  will  do  justice  to  our  heritage  and  give  hope  for  our  future. 

Without  further  ado,  I  think  we  should  turn  to  the  first  of  these 
panel  discussions  and  give  our  fellow  scientists  every  opportunity  for 
discussion  of  the  first  topic,  "The  Origin  of  Life." 


Chairmen:  Harlow  Shapley  and  Hans  Gaffron 

Panelists:    Sir  Charles  Darwin;  Theodosius  Dobzhansky;  Earl  A. 

Evans,  Jr.;  G.  F.  Gause;  Ralph  W.  Gerard;  Hermann  J. 

Muller;  C.  Ladd  Prosser 

Topics  for  Discussion 

1.  The  scientist's  approach  to  the  question  of  the  origin  of  life  is  not 
in  need  of  an  exhaustive  definition  of  what  life  is.  We  must  attack 
from  the  naturalistic  point  of  view,  namely,  that  principles  un- 
known or  unknowable  to  science  cannot  be  used  to  solve  the  prob- 
lem. In  other  words,  we  proceed  under  the  assumption  that  life  is 
a  process  that  escapes  at  present  our  complete  understanding  only 
for  reasons  of  its  complexity. 

2.  Darwinian  evolution  is  now  considered  a  fact  and  is  the  basis  of 
modern  biology.  On  the  other  hand,  any  answer  to  the  question  of 
what  happened  before  Darwinian  evolution  began  is  largely  specu- 
lation. No  existing  and  recognized  forms  of  life  are  primitive 
enough  to  be  considered  related  to  any  primordial  organism  or  the 
first  living  cell.  The  viruses,  which  are  not  cells  but  are  apparently 
related  to  the  most  important  constituents  of  living  cells,  namely, 
the  genes,  exhibit  attributes  of  living  things  only  as  long  as  they 
interact  with  the  structure  of  a  living  cell. 

3.  The  now  dominant  idea  that  living  things  originated  from  non- 
living matter  is  a  consequence  of  our  knowledge  of  the  earlier  and 
later  phases  of  the  natural  history  of  the  earth — the  former  as  con- 
cerned with  cosmological  inorganic  evolution,  and  the  latter  with 
what  happened,  once  life  had  appeared  on  earth.  The  assumption 
that  life  originated  from  non-living  matter  must  be  made  by  the 
modern  scientist  if  he  believes  that  the  question  "What  is  life?"  be- 
longs in  the  natural  sciences  at  all. 

4.  Therefore,  the  origin  of  life  presupposes,  first  of  all,  the  natural  ac- 


70     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

cumulation  of  suitable  raw  materials.  Astronomy  and  chemical  ge- 
ology provide  methods  for  solving  this  question.  Further  presup- 
posed is  a  gradual  evolution  of  increasingly  complex  organic  sys- 
tems from  the  raw  materials  until  a  self-contained  unit  appears 
which  we  would  be  willing  to  recognize  as  a  living  thing.  To  attack 
this  problem  from  the  side  of  living  things,  microbiology,  biochem- 
istry, and  genetics  provide  the  tools. 

5.  Proceeding  from  this  basis,  we  may  subdivide  the  problem  into 
technical  questions  that  are  amenable  to  straightforward  scientific 
research.  For  instance: 

A.  Did  the  early  conditions  on  earth  favor  the  accumulation  of 
organic  substances?  What  were  these  conditions? 

B.  Were  the  first  organic  compounds  of  such  kind  that  they  could 
be  readily  transformed  into  parts  of  living  things? 

C.  At  what  stage  in  this  development  could  one  assume  a  com- 
plexity that  guaranteed  self-replication? 

D.  What  principles  govern  self-replicating  macromolecules? 

E.  How  does  the  structure  of  nucleic  acid  specify  biological  prop- 

F.  Are  enzymes  needed  for  the  production  of  nucleic  acids,  which 
are,  in  turn,  needed  for  the  production  of  the  enzymes? 

G.  Modern  life  on  earth  is  extremely  uniform  in  its  basic  metabolic 
reactions.  How  is  this  to  be  explained?  Is  it  to  be  interpreted 
as  a  unique  (highly  improbable)  event,  or  the  result  of  numer- 
ous chance  combinations  followed  by  selection? 

H.  Can  life  originate  under  present  conditions  on  earth? 

I.  What  were  the  energy  sources  allowing  for  a  continuous  increase 
in  complexity  of  pre-biological  organic  systems? 

J.  When  and  how  did  the  change  from  anaerobic  to  aerobic  con- 
ditions occur? 

6.  What  is  the  probability  of  life  on  other  planets? 

7.  What  are  the  possibilities  of  transport  of  germs  through  space? 

The  Discussion 

Shapley:  The  Committee,  the  origin  of  which  is,  I  suppose,  a  late 
phenomenon  in  the  course  of  evolution,  has  properly  noted  that  an 
examination  of  origin  should  precede  examination  of  evolution  and 
has  assigned  us  the  subject  of  the  origin  of  life.  Once  we  have  taken 
care  of  that  phenomenon  and  are  convinced  that  fife  actually  has 
originated  and  after  we  have  discussed  a  bit  that  interesting  activity, 
other  panels  will  take  care  of,  first,  the  evolution  of  life;  second,  man 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     71 

as  an  organism;  third,  the  evolution  of  mind;  and,  finally,  social  and 
cultural  evolution. 

Shapley:  Let  us  begin  by  reading  the  first  item  on  this  afternoon's 

The  scientist's  approach  to  the  origin  of  life  is  not  in  need 
of  an  exhaustive  definition  of  what  life  is.  We  must  attack 
from  the  naturalistic  point  of  view,  namely,  that  principles 
unknown  or  unknowable  to  science  cannot  be  used  to  solve 
the  problem.  In  other  words,  we  proceed  under  the  assump- 
tion that  life  is  a  process  that  escapes  at  present  our  com- 
plete understanding  only  for  reasons  of  its  complexity. 

Muller:  I  think  that,  in  the  course  of  discussing  the  origin  of  life, 
we  shall  necessarily  come  closer  to  a  definition  of  what  life  is,  so  that 
it  is  not  necessary  to  define  it  now.  I  think  the  most  fundamental 
property  distinguishing  a  living  thing — and  that  can  therefore  be  used 
to  define  life — is  its  ability  to  form  copies  of  itself.  We  call  this  "re- 
production"; but  such  copies  must  also  include  innovations — muta- 
tions— that  distinguish  a  given  living  thing  from  its  parents.  It  is  this 
property  of  not  merely  reproducing  itself  but  also  reproducing  its  mu- 
tant types  that  inevitably  led  the  first  multiplying  objects  through  the 
three-,  four-,  or  five-billion-year  course  of  evolution  by  which  all 
present-day  living  things,  including  ourselves,  have  gradually  taken 
shape  under  the  directing  influence  of  natural  selection.  Natural  selec- 
tion could  not  go  on  without  the  necessary  basis  of  an  ability  or  faculty 
of  the  material  to  copy  not  merely  itself  but  its  variations.  That,  I 
think,  is  the  heart  of  life,  and  such  material,  when  it  arose,  is  rightly 
called  "living." 

Gerard:  I  should  want  a  little  more  said  before  I  am  quite  willing 
to  call  matter  "living."  Perhaps  this  is  a  good  opportunity  to  make  the 
point  that,  while  one  has  to  think  and  use  words  in  terms  of  fairly 
sharp  categories,  in  reality  there  are  always  transitions  and  continua. 
It  may  be  a  little  unwise  to  think  of  life  and  not-life  as  if  these  sud- 
denly were  or  suddenly  were  not — aside  from  all  the  vast  changes 
that  have  occurred  in  living  things  since  the  appearance  of  anything 
that  we  should  agree  was  living.  Not  as  a  geneticist  or  a  microbiologist 
but  as  one  dealing  primarily  with  more  complex  organisms,  I  am  cer- 
tainly aware  of  some  other  properties,  even  of  simple  organisms,  which 
I  should  like  to  see  included  in  any  definition  of  life. 

You  have  certainly  put  your  hand  on  the  essence  of  life  in  this  ability 
to  reproduce — and  reproduce  not  only  substance  but  pattern.  But  I 
should  also  like  to  think  of  life  as  something  that  is  going  on:  there 

72     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

must  be  some  kind  of  dynamic  equilibrium,  a  flow  of  matter  and 
energy  through  the  system.  Moreover,  a  Uving  system  maintains  its 
integrity.  It  has  an  equiUbrium  state  and  either  maintains  that  state 
or  attempts  to  return  to  it  when  displaced  by  the  impact  of  environ- 
mental stimuli.  So  I  should  include  dynamic  equilibrium  and  the 
ability  to  use  its  own  energy  to  restore  disturbances — which  is  called 
"adaptive  amplification" — as  well  as  specific  synthesis.  Then  I  should 
like  to  add  still  another  quahty.  I  think  there  must  be  a  certain  level 
or  architectural  complexity — levels  upon  levels  upon  levels.  One  has 
subnucleons  in  a  nucleus,  and  these  in  an  atom,  and  atoms  in  a  mole- 
cule, and  molecules  in  certain  patterned  groups,  and  these  in  still 
larger  patterned  groups;  and  only  when  a  system  has  gone  quite  a 
long  way  in  that  direction  of  onion  skin  around  onion  skin  do  I  think 
you  could  reasonably  call  it  living. 

Shapley:  You  make  life  sound  difficult. 

Gerard:  It  is. 

Gaffron:  Matter  can  practically  always  be  defined  in  terms  of 
physics,  chemistry,  and  biochemistry.  This  certainly  is  not  enough  to 
define  life.  We  might  ask:  If  we  ingest  food,  at  what  moment  does  the 
food  become  living?  Of  course  it  never  does.  One  could  follow  a  parti- 
cle of  assimilated  food,  no  matter  how  complex,  and  wherever  one 
finds  it  in  the  living  organism,  it  is  dead.  It  is  the  process  in  which  it 
takes  part  that  defines  life,  and  not  the  matter  of  which  it  is  composed. 
One  may  freeze  a  cell  at  such  low  temperature  that  every  reaction 
ceases.  No  one  could  distinguish  this  cell  from  a  dead  one.  To  see 
whether  it  is  alive  or  has  the  capacity  of  being  alive,  one  would  have 
to  bring  the  cell  back  to  normal  temperature  and  see  whether  it  still 
does  what  it  is  expected  to  do:  to  grow  and,  particularly,  to  multiply. 
So  the  essence  of  fife  is  found  in  the  process  of  living  and  not  in  any 
constituents  of  living  cells. 

Gerard:  Your  frozen  cell,  which  is  sufficiently  frozen  so  that  noth- 
ing is  happening  in  it,  when  warmed  up,  will  presumably  (if  it  is  still 
aUve)  show  certain  processes  that  a  dead  cell  under  the  same  condi- 
tions will  not  show.  Now,  what  is  the  difference  between  the  dormant 
and  the  dead  cell? 

Gaffron:  When  defrosted,  the  dead  cell  will  disintegrate,  and  the 
dormant  cell  will  multiply. 

Gerard:  This  is  good  operationalism. 

Muller:  I  wish  to  register  my  disagreement  with  nearly  everything 
Gerard  said.  In  my  opinion  all  the  properties  he  mentioned  are  results 
of  the  evolution  of  living  matter  by  the  mechanism  that  Darwin  called 
"natural  selection."  We  do  not  have  an  original  adaptiveness  on  the 
part  of  life,  but  adaptation  comes  as  a  result  of  evolution. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     73 

Prosser:  My  definition  of  life  tends  to  be  a  little  closer  to  Gerard's 
than  to  Muller's,  because  I  think  integration  is  the  term  that  best 
covers  our  ignorance  of  life.  Perhaps  it  would  be  useful  here  to  refer 
to  the  concept  of  emergent  properties.  With  each  level  of  increasing 
complexity  of  organization,  properties  emerge  that  certainly  could 
not  have  been  predicted  from  the  properties  of  the  subunits.  Molecules 
have  different  properties  from  atoms,  macromolecules  add  new  com- 
plexities, subcellular  particles  are  organized  chemical  systems,  and 
intact  cells  are  much  more  than  the  sum  of  their  parts. 

Gerard:  I  think  that  this  discussion  brings  out  the  point  that  the 
definition  of  life  is  a  problem  of  where  along  a  continuum  you  wish 
to  draw  a  line.  This,  of  course,  is  a  matter  of  definition  and  therefore 
an  individual  option.  This  question  of  a  sharp  break  or  a  transition  or, 
as  Prosser  put  it,  the  emergence  of  something  new  is  going  to  appear 
in  almost  every  panel.  It  is  a  choice  between  demanding  the  full  thing 
and  taking  a  preliminary  stage.  Here,  one  could  speak  of  "proto-life." 
If  you  wish  to  define  proto-life  as  having  just  the  limited  properties  you 
specify,  then  I  am  happy.  If  you  don't  wish  to  include  the  other  prop- 
erties as  minimal,  that  is  your  privilege.  I  think  it  should  be  made 
clear  that  these  are  successive  demands  we  are  making  about  when  we 
wish  to  call  a  thing  "living." 

Muller:  I  should  draw  the  line  where  the  Darwinian  process  of 
natural  selection  begins  to  come  in,  and  that  is  at  the  appearance  of 
replication  of  the  self-copying  kind — that  is,  the  replication  of  muta- 

Shapley:  I  agree.  I  think  we  all  agree  on  the  really  basic  points; 
and  our  areas  of  disagreement  are  often,  in  a  way,  not  the  most  im- 
portant. To  reiterate  the  second  topic  for  discussion: 

Darwinian  evolution  is  now  considered  a  fact  and  is  the 
basis  of  modern  biology.  On  the  other  hand,  any  answer  to 
the  question  of  what  happened  before  Darwinian  evolution 
began  is  largely  speculation.  No  existing  and  recognized 
forms  of  life  are  primitive  enough  to  be  considered  related 
to  any  primordial  organism  or  the  first  living  cell.  The 
viruses,  which  are  not  cells  but  are  apparently  related  to 
the  most  important  constituents  of  living  cells,  namely,  the 
genes,  exhibit  attributes  of  living  things  only  as  long  as 
they  interact  with  the  structure  of  a  living  cell. 

Evans:  I  think  one  should  approach  living  systems  first  in  terms  of 
their  material  properties.  The  chemical  analysis  of  living  things — at 
the  level  where  everyone  agrees  that  a  given  thing  is  living — always 
discloses  at  least  three  components:  proteins,  nucleic  acids,  and  some 

74     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

device  or  mechanism  that  serves  as  energy  source.  This  last  compo- 
nent is  essential  because  the  organization  that  is  the  essence  of  the 
living  cell  is  unstable  and  can  be  maintained  only  by  the  continuous 
use  of  some  sort  of  energy.  Although  these  three  components  are  pres- 
ent in  all  living  forms,  they  can  also  be  found,  of  course,  in  non-living 

So  far  as  pre-Darwinian  evolution  is  concerned,  viruses  (assuming 
that  they  are  all  alike)  are  frequently  considered  possible  examples  of 
what  might  be  involved  in  the  transition  from  non-living  to  living. 
Some  of  the  simple  viruses  can  be  isolated  and  shown  to  be  nothing 
more  than  supermolecules  that  can  be  taken  apart  and  put  back  to- 
gether again.  In  this  isolated  condition,  they  have  no  energy  source 
and,  from  that  standpoint,  are  non-Hving.  When  introduced  into  an 
appropriate  host  cell,  however,  the  virus  replicates  by  using  the  ma- 
chinery and  material  of  the  organism  it  parasitizes.  Under  these  cir- 
cumstances the  virus  is  able  not  only  to  repHcate  but  to  mutate  as  well; 
and  one  can  regard  the  virus  and  host  cell  together  as  forming  a  living 
system.  It  should  be  emphasized,  however,  that  these  facts  do  not  in 
themselves  support  the  view  that  the  evolutionary  status  of  the  virus 
represents  a  transition  from  non-living  to  living. 

Gaffron:  I  think  my  position  on  the  definition  of  life  is  supported 
by  what  Evans  just  said.  What  counts  is  the  special  organization  that 
makes  a  certain  way  of  action  possible,  rather  than  the  matter  involved. 

Shapley:  What  would  you  say  are  the  origins  or  proposed  origins 
of  viruses? 

Evans:  To  the  extent  that  we  know  them,  viruses  are  proteins  and 
nucleic  acid. 

Shapley:  I  wonder  if  anybody  would  Uke  to  know  what  an  expert 
means  by  "nucleic  acid." 

Evans:  We  have  a  model  of  nucleic  acid  here.  This  is  what  is  known 
as  DNA,  deoxynucleic  acid,  one  of  the  two  types  occurring  in  cells. 
As  you  can  see  from  the  model,  this  is  a  large,  complex  molecule.  DNA 
exists  in  the  form  of  a  double  helix,  the  two  helical  strands  being  held 
together  by  secondary  chemical  forces.  In  terms  of  its  chemical  com- 
position it  contains  variable  amounts  of  four  nitrogenous  compo- 
nents, which  are  referred  to  as  the  "nitrogen  bases."  These  various  com- 
ponents are  specifically  arranged  to  form  the  strands  of  the  nucleic 
acid  helix;  and  it  is  in  the  specific  number  and  order  of  these  com- 
ponents that  the  various  kinds  of  nucleic  acids  differ  from  each  other. 
We  believe  that  the  gene  is  equivalent  to  DNA  and  that  one  gene  dif- 
fers from  another  through  specific  differences  in  the  number  and 
arrangement  of  the  various  components  of  the  nucleic  acid  molecule. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     75 

Gerard:  What  do  we  mean  by  Darwinian  evolution?  Is  the  term 
used  here  to  narrow  the  total  scope  of  evolution,  excluding  the  evolu- 
tion of  stars  and  rocks,  or  is  it  more  specific  than  that? 

Dobzhansky:  It  means  evolution  by  natural  selection. 

Shapley:  Biological  evolution? 

Dobzhansky:  Natural  selection  is  the  most  miportant  criterion. 

Gerard:  Involving  genetic  mechanisms? 

Dobzhansky:  Yes. 

Shapley:  There  is  natural  selection  in  the  solar  system.  But  you 
want  to  keep  it  biological? 

Dobzhansky:  I  doubt  that. 

Muller:  Natural  selection  applies  to  multiplying  things — things 
that  multiply  their  own  variations. 

Gerard:  Would  you  include  specifically  the  genetic  element? 

Muller:  Only  that. 

Gerard:  Because  we  also  see  evolution  of  living  things  that  may 
not  involve  genetic  mechanisms.  That  is  not  Darwinian? 

Muller:  Not  for  our  present  purposes. 

Shapley:  I  have  heard  Muller  say  he  had  a  definite  line  between 
the  living  and  the  non-living.  A  good  many  people  think  that  livingness 
increased  gradually;  but  you  have  a  definite  line  between  the  live  and 
the  dead. 

Muller:  Yes.  Where  there  is  replication  of  mutations. 

Shapley:  We  shall  go  on  to  topic  No.  3: 

The  now  dominant  idea  that  living  things  originated  from 
non-living  matter  is  a  consequence  of  our  knowledge  of  the 
earlier  and  later  phases  of  the  natural  history  of  the  earth 
— the  former  as  concerned  with  cosmological  inorganic 
evolution,  and  the  latter  with  what  happened,  once  life  had 
appeared  on  earth.  The  assumption  that  life  originated  from 
non-living  matter  must  be  made  by  the  modern  scientist 
if  he  believes  that  the  question  "What  is  life?"  belongs  in 
the  natural  sciences  at  all. 

Gaffron:  a  natural  scientist  who  wants  to  study  this  evolutionary 
process  has  no  choice  but  to  start  and  to  proceed  from  the  assumption 
that  the  living  came  from  the  non-living.  This  in  spite  of  the  fact  that 
what  stares  him  in  the  eye — all  life  about  him — is  so  fantastically 
complex  that  it  is  hard  for  him  to  believe  it  truly  happened. 

Gerard:  With  a  fully  developed  situation,  it  is  extremely  hard  to 
see  how  it  started.  If  I  look  at  Gaffron,  it  is  very  hard  for  me  to  think 
how  he  got  that  way.  But  I  am  sure  he  did. 

76     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Gaffron  :  In  a  very  natural  way. 

Shapley:  Our  topic  No.  4  states: 

Therefore,  the  origin  of  life  presupposes,  first  of  all,  the 
natural  accumulation  of  suitable  raw  materials.  Astronomy 
and  chemical  geology  provide  methods  for  solving  this  ques- 
tion. Further  presupposed  is  a  gradual  evolution  of  increas- 
ingly complex  organic  systems  from  the  raw  materials  until 
a  self-contained  unit  appears  which  we  would  be  willing  to 
recognize  as  a  living  thing.  To  attack  this  problem  from  the 
side  of  living  things,  microbiology,  biochemistry,  and  ge- 
netics provide  the  tools. 

We  seem  to  agree  pretty  well  on  that  statement,  and  therefore  we 
move  on  to  No.  5,  which  is  the  heart  of  this  afternoon's  session: 

Proceeding  from  this  basis,  we  may  subdivide  the  problem 
into  technical  questions  that  are  amenable  to  straightfor- 
ward scientific  research.  For  instance: 

A.  Did  the  early  conditions  on  earth  favor  the  accumula- 
tion of  organic  substances?  What  were  these  conditions? 

Gaffron:  About  thirty  years  ago  it  was  thought  that  if  life  origi- 
nated from  non-living  matter,  carbon  dioxide  was  the  most  important 
substance  involved.  One  knew  that  carbon  dioxide  was  an  inorganic 
substance  which  illuminated  plants  convert  in  a  miraculous  way  into 
foodstuffs  and  living  tissue.  A  direct  conversion  of  the  carbon  dioxide 
present  in  the  early  atmosphere  of  the  earth,  with  the  aid  of  ultraviolet 
light  and  water,  into  something  organic  was  considered  the  beginning 
not  only  of  organic  substances  but  of  life  itself.  In  the  1920's,  how- 
ever, both  A.  I.  Oparin  and  J.  B.  S.  Haldane  saw  that  an  original  at- 
mosphere without  much  carbon  dioxide  would  conform  more  closely 
to  the  findings  of  the  geochemists.  According  to  the  latter,  in  particu- 
lar H.  Urey,  the  planets  started  with  an  enormous  surplus  of  free  hy- 
drogen; given  high  temperature,  a  long  period  of  time,  and  an  excess 
of  hydrogen,  everything  that  could  combine  with  hydrogen  would  do 
so.  Carbon  would  become,  not  carbon  dioxide,  but  methane;  nitro- 
gen would  not  be  nitrogen,  but  ammonia;  and  oxygen  would  be  re- 
duced to  water.  So  the  early  atmosphere  of  the  earth  must  have  con- 
sisted of  hydrogen,  ammonia,  methane,  and  water  vapor. 

Of  the  various  theories  concerning  the  composition  of  the  original 
atmosphere,  Urey's  hypothesis  has  become  the  most  favored,  because 
it  was  tested  experimentally  and  found  to  be  conducive  to  the  forma- 
tion of  organic  material.  The  experiment  was  done  here  at  the  Uni- 
versity of  Chicago  by  Stanley  Miller,  who  subjected  a  mixture  of  hy- 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     77 

drogen,  water  vapor,  ammonia,  and  methane  to  electrical  discharges. 
Ultraviolet  light  might  be  used  instead,  but  in  the  laboratory  it  is 
more  practical  to  work  with  electrical  discharges,  which  would  be 
equivalent  to  lightning  in  the  outside  world.  As  expected,  organic  sub- 
stances were  formed. 

Shapley:  The  Stanley  Miller  experiments  in  Harold  Urey's  labora- 
tory in  1953  and  1954  were  remarkable.  They  radiated  in  this  labora- 
tory the  gases  Gaffron  mentioned  as  constituting  the  main  part  of  the 
atmosphere  of  the  earth  a  few  thousand  million  years  ago. 

Harold  Urey  was  in  Boston  at  a  meeting  on  the  climatic  conditions 
necessary  for  the  origin  of  life  on  this  and  other  planets.  We  had  quite 
a  conference;  and  I  remember  George  Wald  asked  me  as  an  astrono- 
mer how  much  time  separated  the  forming  of  the  earth's  crust  and  the 
beginning  of  life  here.  I  asked  him  when  life  began;  he  gave  it  a  billion 
and  a  half  years  (I  think  it  would  be  a  bit  more  than  that  now) .  Being 
generous,  I  said,  "I  will  give  you  two  billion  years,"  and  he  got  off 
a  nice  phrase:  "Two  billion  years.  That  is  just  wonderful  for  the  prob- 
lem of  the  origin  of  life.  In  two  billion  years  the  impossible  becomes 

Now  this  Miller-Urey  experiment  has  been  repeated  in  Germany 
and  in  Russia,  at  Yale,  at  the  Oak  Ridge  Laboratory,  and  especially  by 
P.  H.  Abelson  in  Washington,  using  different  mixtures  and  always 
coming  out  with  these  organic  substances. 

Gaffron:  Prosser,  would  you  like  to  comment  on  the  minor  point, 
whether  carbon  dioxide  was  present  in  the  early  atmosphere?  Actually, 
carbon  dioxide  must  have  been  present  all  the  time  or  at  least  have 
been  formed  before  it  was  re-reduced;  otherwise  we  could  not  have  it  in 
the  form  of  the  carboxyl  group  of  organic  acids. 

Prosser:  This  is  a  problem  of  energy  sources.  The  ultraviolet 
source  ceased  being  effective  when  the  oxygen  layer  became  a  filter 
that  prevented  ultraviolet  light  from  reaching  the  earth.  Miller's  ex- 
periment showed  that  carboxyls  can  be  formed  from  an  atmosphere 
lacking  carbon  dioxide  and  containing  oxygen  as  water.  Presumably, 
energy  was  stored  in  organic  compounds,  perhaps  in  high-energy  phos- 
phates. Some  of  this  energy  was  released  by  decarboxylating  reactions, 
and  carbon  dioxide  was  liberated.  Urey  has  also  shown  how  carbon 
dioxide  could  have  been  formed  from  the  elementary  compounds. 
Some  oxygen  could  have  been  released  by  photochemical  reactions 
prior  to  true  photosynthesis. 

Gaffron:  We  should  mention  very  briefly  that  if  a  certain  reaction 
is  not  possible  in  the  Urey  atmosphere,  one  might  try  adding  other 
substances  to  make  it  take  place. 
Shapley:  Especially  the  sulfides. 


78     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Gerard:  As  this  discussion  developed,  I  was  struck  by  the  real 
power  of  science  compared  with  other  approaches  to  knowledge  and 
understanding.  Not  many  years  ago,  one  would  have  said  that  we  were 
dealing  with  events  in  the  almost  infinite  past  and  that  what  could  or 
could  not  happen  would  forever  be  a  matter  of  guess.  One  finds  again 
this  gradualism  you  brought  out  earlier,  Gaffron — little  by  little,  one 
makes  a  tremendous  jump.  Little  by  little,  we  are  coming  to  see  that 
these  things  were  possible.  Things  that  were  once  matters  of  observa- 
tion and  calculation  are  now  matters  of  experiment.  It  is  a  great  satis- 
faction to  find  science  able  to  penetrate  experimentally  into  these  vast 
distances  of  time  and  space. 

Shapley:  It  is  marvelous.  I  predicted  not  very  long  ago — a  year 
ago — that  this  Miller  experiment  is  something  the  youth  of  our  high 
schools  and  secondary  schools  in  general  might  do  within  a  very  few 
years.  Two  weeks  ago,  at  Dayton,  Ohio,  I  was  told  of  a  youth  who 
has  actually  carried  it  through.  Now  I  don't  think  he  has  fully  analyzed 
the  organic  material  involved,  but  he  carried  out  the  Miller  experiment 
in  the  high-school  laboratory.  And  this  is  going  to  become  common- 

Gaffron:  Unfortunately.  Because,  contrary  to  notions  now  be- 
coming popular,  it  does  not  solve  the  problem  of  life.  These  substances 
are  quite  dead.  From  the  point  of  view  of  a  misleading  oversimplifica- 
tion, it  would  have  been  even  better  if  we  had  not  found  anything  as 
easy  to  do,  because  then  the  difficulty  of  the  true  question  would  not 
have  been  obscured  at  the  very  beginning.  What  the  Miller  experiment 
does  is  to  allow  us  to  proceed  at  once  to  the  very  point  where  the 
problem  of  life  becomes  interesting. 

Shapley:  If  there  weren't  other  people  here,  I  should  say:  Non- 
sense. We'll  get  together  later.  A  second  technical  question: 

B.  Were  the  first  organic  compounds  of  such  kind  that  they 
could  be  readily  transformed  mto  parts  of  Hving  things? 

Gaffron:  The  Urey-Miller  experiment  showed  that  organic  ma- 
terial suitable  for  further  evolution  will  be  produced  in  a  Urey  atmos- 
phere. Miller  obtained  acetic  acid,  other  aliphatic  acids,  and  amino 
acids.  These  substances  constitute  an  excellent  nutrient  medium  for 
many  bacteria.  Molecules  like  acetic  acid  or  glycine,  the  simplest 
amino  acid,  are  used  by  the  modern  cell  to  build  up  such  complex  or- 
ganic molecules  as  porphyrins,  iron  porphyrins,  and  magnesium  por- 
phyrins— usually  known  as  "chlorophylls."  These  substances  play  im- 
portant roles  in  the  metabolism  of  most  living  cells.  Perhaps  Evans 
could  enlarge  on  this. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     79 

Evans:  Miller  and  Urey  found  large  amounts  of  the  amino  acid 
glycine  as  well  as  acetic  acid,  glutamic  acid,  and  other  substances. 
We  know  that  the  purine  base  (which  I  have  already  pointed  out  as 
part  of  the  nucleic  acid  molecule)  can  be  synthesized  in  living  cells 
from  a  number  of  simpler  compounds.  The  largest  part  of  the  purine 
skeleton  comes  from  glycine,  and  additional  carbon  and  nitrogen 
come  from  formaldehyde,  glutamic,  and  aspartic  acids.  All  these  sub- 
stances are  produced  in  the  Miller  experiment.  A  number  of  these 
same  products  are  also  precursors  of  the  pyrimidine  portion  of  the 
nucleic  acid.  As  for  proteins,  these  are  large  molecules  made  up  of 
different  numbers  and  kinds  of  amino  acids — a  number  of  which  also 
occur  as  products  of  this  experiment.  We  see,  then,  that  the  materials 
formed  in  the  Miller  experiment  are  precisely  those  which  serve  as 
precursors  for  the  formation  of  nucleic  acids  and  proteins  in  living 

Shapley:  Very  well.  We  will  try  item  C: 

C.  At  what  stage  in  this  development  could  one  assume  a 
complexity  that  guaranteed  self-replication? 

Muller:  I  should  say  that  one  could  assume  such  a  complexity  at 
the  stage  that  Evans  was  talking  about,  provided  that  the  materials 
were  afforded  for  the  coming-together  of  the  chemical  groupings  in 
this  fashion.  As  yet,  no  protein  need  be  there.  In  other  words,  we  have 
here  only  the  coming-together  into  chains  of  the  chemical  groups  we 
call  "nucleotides."  They  don't  yet  have  to  be  even  in  the  form  of  the 
double  chain  shown  in  Evans'  model.  That,  in  my  opinion— which  is 
not  merely  an  opinion,  nor  solitary — is  the  point  at  which,  under  spe- 
cial conditions  in  the  medium  that  must  have  existed  on  the  earth  at 
the  time  we  are  speaking  of,  the  chain  of  nucleotides  would  have  been 
able  to  replicate.  Now  the  beginning  of  that  replication  is  already 
shown  here  in  the  DNA  model,  because,  as  you  see,  this  chain  is 

This  general  idea  goes  back  some  forty  years  to  the  geneticists'  ob- 
servations that  only  in  the  chromosomes  (and  in  a  little  other  material 
we  have  since  found  to  contain  substances  identical  with  those  of  the 
chromosomes)  does  one  find  the  property  of  replication  of  mutations 
—that  is,  self-copying  and  self-copying  of  changes— and,  therefore, 
the  possibility  of  Darwinian  evolution. 

Now  you  may  say:  Today  this  material  cannot  replicate  unless  it 
has  protein  and  other  things  with  it.  Of  course,  it  can't  replicate  as  we 
are  accustomed  to  seeing  it  done,  but  there  you  have  the  basis  of  repli- 
cation. And  it  has  already  been  found  in  the  laboratory  that  these 

80     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

strings  of  nucleic  acids  are  able  to  select  free  units  (nucleotides)  from 
the  medium  and  arrange  them  into  strings  of  nucleotides  with  a  pattern 
like  their  own.  In  fact,  the  pattern  is  complementary  to  their  own,  in 
a  way  that  it  would  take  too  much  time  to  describe  here.  Thus  two 
spirals  are  formed,  which  are  complementary  rather  than  identical. 
Then,  when  these  separate,  the  first  spiral  again  chooses  other  nucleo- 
tides to  form  a  complement  to  it  and  then  separates,  while  the  other 
forms  the  complement  to  the  complement.  So,  you  see,  you  get  the 
original  back  again,  and,  by  a  two-step  process,  you  obtain  an  exact 

Here,  then,  is  a  sharp  breaking  point,  constituting  the  beginning  of 
Darwinian  evolution.  It  is  this  mechanism  that  has  enabled  living 
things  so  far  to  surpass  non-living  things  in  their  complexity  of  or- 
ganization and  adaptation  that  we  distinguish  them  by  the  special  term 
"living."  The  inherent  properties  of  these  nucleotide  chains  have  led  to 
such  complexities  as  to  put  their  later  developments  out  of  the  class  of 
the  inanimate  from  which  they  arose. 

Gerard:  At  what  stage  of  complexity  do  you  have  guaranteed  self- 
replication?  For  example,  why  is  not  the  replication  of  the  architec- 
ture of  a  crystal  or  the  replication  of  a  branching  polymer  from  mono- 
mers, which  depends  on  the  pre-existing  polymer,  life?  What  is  your 
additional  criterion? 

Muller:  The  additional  criterion  is  that  it  must  be  self-copying, 
in  the  sense  that  if  you  introduce  a  change,  it  repUcates  that  innova- 
tion, too.  It  replicates  the  new  type. 

Gerard:  I  think  that  happens  with  some  of  the  branching  polymers, 
when  accidental  misbranching  occurs  and  is  replicated  from  then  on. 
This  happens  with  some  of  the  synthetic  processes  that  chemists  use. 
Isn't  that  so,  Evans? 

Evans:  A  mutation  is  a  failure  in  copying — that  is,  the  copy  is 
not  quite  exact.  This  can  occur  because  the  copying  mechanism  is 
faulty  or,  as  one  probably  does  with  mutagenic  agents,  by  altering  a 
portion  of  the  nucleic  acid  polymer  that  is  the  model  for  copying.  Once 
you  have  the  faulty  copy,  it  is  then  replicated  as  such,  and  the  altera- 
tion is  perpetuated. 

Muller:  Yes,  that  is  the  important  point.  Everything  in  the  world 
can  change,  but  this  material  is  made  in  such  a  way  that,  after  it 
changes,  it  then  reproduces  the  new  thing,  and  that  quality  is  not 
known  in  anything  except  nucleotide  change  of  arrangement. 

Gerard:  In  branching  polymers  that  happens. 

Muller:  I  think  not. 

Evans:  I  am  not  sure  what  you  are  driving  at. 

Gerard:  For  example,  in  synthetic  factories  where  they  make  plas- 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     81 

tics  or  rubber  or  something  like  that,  I  understand  that  if  the  reaction 
starts  going  wrong,  the  branching,  instead  of  the  straight-chain,  poly- 
mers will  continue  to  form  from  that  point  on.  This  is  exactly  like  a 
virus  with  a  mutation  that  goes  on  reproducing  itself.  Sometimes  they 
have  to  clean  the  whole  thing  out  and  destroy  these  molecular  nuclei 
and  start  again. 

Evans:  I  think  that  is  true. 

Gerard:  It  seems  to  me  that  this  is  exactly  the  same  thing. 

Muller:  No,  I  would  not  admit  that,  because,  after  being  changed, 
the  nucleotide  chain  replicates  the  changed  thing. 

Gerard:  It  keeps  making  the  same  error. 

Muller:  The  same  error?  You  definitely  know  that  for  the  plastics? 

Gerard:  I  think  so.  (I  know  very  few  things  definitely.) 

Evans:  It  has  to  keep  on  replicating. 

Gerard:  In  the  same  mode,  the  same  error. 

Evans:  An  essential  feature  of  the  system  we  are  discussing  is  that 
replication  must  continue.  Your  analogy  seems  to  involve  a  continu- 
ing process  and  to  that  extent,  I  think,  is  not  incorrect.  We  know  a  num- 
ber of  so-called  autocatalytic  reactions — such  as  the  conversion  of 
pepsinogen  to  pepsin— in  which  the  product  of  the  reaction  catalyzes 
the  conversion  of  the  precursor  into  the  substance  itself.  It  would  be 
possible,  I  think,  for  a  small  alteration  in  the  autocatalytic  molecule 
to  let  the  autocatalysis  still  continue.  But  I  think  that  any  major  change 
in  the  structure  of  the  autocatalytic  molecule  would  stop  the  reaction 
entirely.  And  the  ability  for  continuous  mutation  seems  to  be  an  in- 
herent characteristic  of  living  cells. 

Gerard:  Let  me  put  it  this  way:  Ordinarily,  the  process  forms 
polymer  A.  If  a  molecule  of  polymer  B  gets  into  the  system,  the 
process  now  forms  polymer  B  and  goes  on  doing  that.  And  this  poly- 
mer B  can  form  "spontaneously"  as  a  result  of  aberrant  circumstances, 
and  then  it  continues. 

Evans:  When  chemical  systems  of  a  certain  specific  character-- 
nucleic  acids — replicate  themselves,  Muller  chooses  to  call  this  "life." 

Gerard:  I  was  asking  at  what  level  it  gets  to  that. 

Muller:  At  the  level  where  an  unlimited  number  of  changes  in 
pattern  are  possible,  each  of  which  is  self -replicating.  This  chain  can 
be  of  unlimited  length,  and  its  four  different  kinds  of  nucleotides  can 
be  arranged  in  any  order.  Whatever  that  order  is,  is  the  order  that  will 
be  replicated,  with  the  exception  of  the  occasional  mutations.  "Guaran- 
teed," I  admit,  is  a  matter  of  degree.  I  am  sure  that  when  these  first 
arose,  self-replication  was  less  rigorously  "guaranteed"  than  now, 
because  changes  have  been  selected  that  increase  its  stability  and 
guarantee  it  better,  including  the  "adoption"  of  protein  into  it. 

82     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Gaffron:  The  preliminary  stage  might  have  been  the  manufacture 
of  enormous  amounts  of  similar,  but  not  identical,  compounds. 

Muller:  It  is  the  copying  of  the  pattern  per  se  that  is  important  in 
allowing  natural  selection  to  act. 

Gaffron:  Yes.  You  would  say,  then,  that  the  transition  from  non- 
living to  living  occurred  just  at  the  point  where  similar,  but  not  identi- 
cal, things  appeared? 

Muller:  It  has  to  be  identical  in  large  measure;  otherwise  it  does 
not  have  genetic  continuity  and  cannot  be  subject  to  natural  selection. 

Gaffron:  But  the  selection  might  be  chemical.  We  are  talking  here 
about  an  early  stage  of  evolution  based  on  the  principle  of  selection, 
where  the  selection  proceeds  by  chemical  action,  thus  providing  op- 
portunity for  molecules  of  the  self-repHcating  kind  first  to  have  a 
chance  to  accumulate. 

Muller:  We  have  to  distinguish  between  two  kinds  of  selection: 
merely  chemical  selection  and  Darwinian  natural  selection.  There  is 
a  very  sharp  distinction  there. 

Shapley:  When  did  natural  selection  begin? 

Muller:  With  the  nucleotide  chain. 

Gerard:  I  think  Gaffron  impHed  that  it  began  before  that. 

Gaffron:  I  think  that  there  is  first  a  chemical  selection,  starting 
with  the  solubility  of  molecules  in  water. 

Dobzhansky:  I  should  like  to  support  Muller.  "Chemical  selec- 
tion" is  a  misuse  of  the  term,  if  you  mean  "natural  selection." 

Shapley:  Chemical  selection  is  natural. 

Dobzhansky:  Natural  selection  in  the  Darwinian  sense  is  differ- 
ential reproduction,  and  this  is  possible  only  with  self-producing  en- 
tities of  whatever  kind. 

Gaffron:  But  we  are  pre-Darwinian  here. 

Prosser:  I  wonder  whether  there  is  not  a  clear  distinction  between 
polymerization  and  replication  in  the  sense  used  for  DNA.  The  per- 
petuation of  error  in  the  two  cases  might  be  distinguished  on  this  basis: 
in  polymerization,  every  time  a  new  chain  is  manufactured  or  ex- 
tended, the  same  mutation  is  repeated,  whereas  after  mutation  has 
occurred  in  a  replicating  DNA  chain,  one  has  not  a  new  mutation 
every  time  but  a  copying  of  the  original  error,  as  from  a  template. 
The  coilmg  of  artificial  polyribonucleotides  in  helical  paired  structures 
has  been  obtained  by  Rich. 

Gerard:  I  don't  think  that  distinction  is  valid,  because  you  have 
a  new  set  of  genes  that  leads  to  a  new  set  of  molecules  that  aives  you 
the  phenotypic  mutant.  ^ 

Shapley:  I  just  asked  Gaffron  whether  that  DNA  model  is  what 
we  are  made  of.  Aren't  the  units  much  longer  than  that?  He  says  that 
they  are  indefinite  in  length. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     83 

Evans:  Not  indefinite.  The  size  of  the  DNA  molecule  apparently 
depends  on  its  particular  function.  Actually,  in  terms  of  genetic  com- 
bination, genetic  units  can  be  made  up  of  a  fairly  small  number — five, 
six,  up  to  a  hundred — of  nucleotide  pairs.  These  constitute  the  coding 
mechanism  for  a  specific  biological  feature  of  a  living  organism. 
Shapley:  How  many  turns  have  the  small  spirals? 
Evans:  With  the  bacterial  viruses,  there  is  a  question  whether  the 
DNA  is  in  one  piece  or  a  number  of  pieces.  If  it  is  one  piece,  it  is  a 
very  large  piece  indeed. 

Gaffron:  Would  it  not  be  an  interestmg  proposition  to  prove  that 
selection  on  the  level  of  spontaneously  formed  DNA  molecules  should 
never  actually  have  occurred  because  of  the  improbability  that  mole- 
cules of  this  enormous  size  would  come  into  existence  in  the  first  place? 
Muller:  That  is  exactly  why  we  need  the  process  of  Darwinian 
natural  selection.  What  you  have  in  the  first  place  is  only  a  few  of  the 
nucleotides  because  of  this  impossibility  of  getting  everything  just 
right  to  begin  with.  But,  having  the  ability  to  undergo  Darwinian 
natural  selection,  then  the  chain  can,  step  by  step,  add  to  its  size  and 
improve  its  pattern. 

Gaffron:  Then  you  would  attribute  this  power  of  self-duplication 
to  a  very  short  nucleotide  chain? 

Muller:  A.  Kornberg  has  shown  it  to  occur  even  with  only  two 
or  three  nucleotides  joined  together.  So  you  come  down  to  something 
that  is  not  to  be  classified  separately  from  ordinary  organic  chemicals 
except  in  the  potentiality  for  further  evolution  that  this  property  gives 
it.  In  other  words,  one  might  define  life  as  something  able  to  undergo 
biological  evolution — Darwinian  natural  selection. 

Gaffron:  Then  macromolecules  appeared  only  as  a  consequence  of 
evolution.  It  follows  that  the  organization  to  which  we  attribute  life 
could  have  been  formed  by  much  simpler  molecules  in  protein  and 
nucleic  acid  form? 

Muller:  The  beginning  of  it  must  have  been  so,  yes. 
Prosser:  The  distinction  between  the  properties  of  proteins  and 
nucleic  acids  has  been  mentioned,  but  it  cannot  be  overemphasized. 
Proteins  grow  by  polymerization  and  are  synthesized  from  free  amino 
acids.  They  do  not  duplicate  in  the  same  sense  that  a  chain  of  nucleo- 
tides replicates,  by  adding  corresponding  components  (purines-pyrimi- 
dines)  and  then  splitting  into  two  chains.  Also,  I  think  the  size  of  the 
chain  is  not  critical.  Replication  may  well  first  have  happened  with 
relatively  short  chains.  Perhaps  Evans  might  comment  on  the  recent 
observations  by  Benzer. 

Evans:  One  should  remember  that,  until  recently,  the  chemical 
structure  of  nucleic  acids  was  believed  to  involve  a  relatively  simple 
type  of  molecule  and  that  it  was  impossible  to  explain  how  such  a 

84     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

structure  could  exist  in  the  large  number  of  variations  required  for 
the  molecular  basis  of  the  gene.  Since  the  proteins  are  made  up  of  a 
large  number  of  amino  acids  in  different  amounts,  it  was  possible 
to  assume  that  the  protein  molecules  could  vary  to  the  enormous  ex- 
tent required  for  any  molecular  basis  for  the  genetic  material.  The 
structure  of  the  nucleic  acids  as  conceived  at  present,  however,  is 
such  that  it  can  produce  the  necessary  structural  variation,  although 
the  number  of  components  constituting  the  nucleic  acid  is  far  less  than 
that  in  the  proteins.  For  example,  a  gene  (made  up  of  nucleic  acid) 
must  be  capable  of  carrying  the  information  involved  in  the  structure 
of  a  given  protein  made  up  of  some  hundreds  of  the  twenty  different 
amino  acids.  It  is  possible  to  devise  a  coding  arrangement  of  the  four 
variables  in  nucleic  acid  structure  that  will  uniquely  define  the  twenty 
amino  acids  that  occur  in  protein. 

There  has  been  a  shift  in  emphasis,  therefore,  in  the  last  ten  or  fifteen 
years.  Earlier,  the  molecular  structure  of  nucleic  acid  seemed  inca- 
pable of  accounting  for  the  necessary  variations.  This  is  no  longer  the 
case,  and  it  now  appears  that  we  need  look  no  farther  than  this  chemi- 
cal structure  of  DNA  for  a  basis  for  all  genetic  information,  with  five 
or  six  nucleotide  units  being  enough  to  define  the  particular  bit  of  in- 

Shapley:  What  about  single-strand  DNA? 

Evans:  Investigators  in  California  have  recently  described  a  virus 
in  which  the  nucleic  acid  of  the  DNA  type  appears  to  consist  of  a 
single  strand.  But  I  am  not  prepared  to  predict  what  effect,  if  any, 
this  has  on  our  current  idea  of  DNA  structure.  Certainly,  the  available 
evidence  suggests  that  the  general  features  of  the  structure  as  we  con- 
ceive it  are  correct. 

Shapley:  Do  you  think  you  defined  DNA  and  RNA  sufficiently? 
Maybe  I  wasn't  listening,  but  I  still  don't  know  what  they  are. 

Evans:  The  two  types  of  nucleic  acid  are  distinguished  primarily  by 
the  nature  of  their  sugars,  DNA  having  deoxyribose,  and  RNA,  ribose. 
That  is,  in  the  sugar  characteristic  of  DNA  the  hydroxyl  group  is 
missing  from  the  second  carbon  atom.  They  also  differ  in  the  nature 
of  the  nitrogen-containing  basis.  RNA  appears  to  have  a  structure 
similar  to  that  of  DNA,  although  our  detailed  knowledge  is  less  cer- 
tain. By  and  large,  the  RNA  is  present  in  the  cytoplasm  of  cells,  while 
the  DNA  is  present  in  the  nucleus  and  is  identified  with  the  genetic 
material  itself. 

Shapley:  With  the  genes? 

Evans:  Yes. 

Muller:  Genes  can  sometimes  be  composed  of  RNA. 

Evans:  I  should  add  that  viruses  apparently  contain  either  one  or 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     85 

the  other  type  of  nucleic  acid — never  both.  In  the  poHomyeUtis  and 
tobacco  mosaic  virus,  the  nucleic  acid  is  of  the  RNA  type. 

Shapley:  What  about  RNA  as  a  genetic  determiner? 

Evans:  Although  the  details  of  the  relationship  are  not  clear,  it  is 
certain  that  DNA  and  RNA  are  intimately  involved  in  cellular  activity. 
One  current  idea  is  that  the  genetic  DNA  transmits  its  information  in 
some  fashion  to  the  cytoplasmic  RNA,  which  in  turn  is  responsible 
for  determining  the  structure  of  at  least  some  of  the  other  cellular 
components.  In  tobacco  mesaic  virus,  where  the  nucleic  acid  is  of 
the  RNA  type  and  has  been  shown  experimentahy  to  be  the  sole  de- 
terminant of  the  structure  of  the  progeny  produced  when  the  virus 
replicates,  it  is  clear  that  the  RNA  does  have  a  genetic  function — al- 
though this  may  involve  some  interaction  with  the  DNA  genetic  ma- 
terial of  the  host  cell. 

Muller:  I  don't  think  we  really  know  enough  yet  to  decide  the 
details  here. 

Prosser:  On  the  other  hand,  RNA  does  carry  information  and 
serves  as  a  template  for  protein  synthesis  in  the  cytoplasm  of  other 

Shapley:  The  next  question  is: 

D.  What   principles   govern   self-replicating   macromole- 

Prosser:  I  think  this  has  already  been  covered.  The  emphasis,  it 
seems  to  me,  is  on  duplication  in  the  sense  of  forming  molecules  as 
mirror  images  or  to  serve  as  a  template  for  an  opposing  molecule  that 
then  separates  off. 

Shapley:  We  move  on  to  the  next  question: 

E.  How  does  the  structure  of  nucleic  acid  specify  biological 

Evans:  I  have  already  mentioned  that  the  specific  arrangements 
of  the  DNA  molecules  can  dictate,  for  example,  the  structure  of  an 
enzyme,  which  is  a  protein.  One  can  work  out  a  so-called  "coding 
system"  in  which  arrangements  of  nucleotide  triplets — three  nucleo- 
tides— will  uniquely  define  one  amino  acid.  In  other  words,  by  a 
suitable  arrangement,  in  groups  of  three,  of  the  four  variables  in  the 
DNA  structure,  one  can  evolve  a  coding  system  that  will  specify 
twenty,  and  only  twenty,  variations.  By  equating  each  of  these  twenty 
variations  with  a  specific  amino  acid,  one  has  a  mechanism — entirely 
on  paper,  of  course — in  which  specific  arrangements  of  the  four  nu- 
cleotide variations  would  completely  specify  the  arrangement  of  a 

86     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

protein  molecule  containing  variable  amounts  of  twenty  different 

Muller:  I  agree  with  this,  although,  like  many  geneticists,  I  don't 
like  the  terms  "code"  and  "information."  Instead  of  "code"  I  would 
say  "linear  arrangement" — an  arrangement  in  single  file,  in  a  line. 
As  you  have  letters  coded  in  words,  so  you  could  figuratively  call 
this  a  "code."  I  don't  like  the  word  "information"  because  this  is  a 
matter,  not  of  conscious  knowledge,  but  of  physical  arrangement  speci- 
fying another  arrangement — in  this  particular  case,  that  of  the  amino 

You  were  discussing  the  arrangement  of  amino  acids  that  gives  a 
particular  protein.  We  must  remember  that  not  only  the  proteins  but 
also  everything  else  in  the  cell  result  from  the  operation  of  these  nu- 
cleotides; and  just  what  substances  are  formed,  and  where  and  when, 
depends  on  the  particular  arrangement  of  these  nucleotides  in  this 
enormously  long  chain.  It  isn't  at  all  solved  yet  just  how  the  nucleo- 
tides operate  in  producing  these  effects.  However,  we  know  that  the 
arrangement  of  nucleotides  somehow  determines  the  arrangement 
of  the  amino  acids  in  the  protein.  This  in  turn  decides  not  only  what 
kind  of  hemoglobin  you  have  but  the  characteristics  of  your  skin, 
brain,  and  everything  else.  All  this  is  an  enormous  job  for  the  future, 
far  outrunning  all  other  problems. 

I  do  not  want  to  belittle  any  other  type  of  work — astronomy,  phys- 
ics, or  organic  chemistry.  But  it  is  a  job  of  a  different  order  of  magni- 
tude to  find  out  just  how  all  the  different  features  that  are  essential  in 
the  body  of  a  higher  organism  are  determined  by  the  arrangement  of 
these  nucleotides,  of  which  we  have  about  four  billion  in  line  in  a 
single  set  of  human  chromosomes.  This  would  fill  about  one  hundred 
Webster's  dictionaries  if  you  were  to  write  it  all  down  in  print  as  fine 
as  that  used  in  unabridged  dictionaries.  All  that,  taken  together,  is, 
if  you  like,  the  code — or  arrangement,  I  would  prefer  to  say.  We 
have  not  only  to  discover  that  arrangement  but  also  to  find  out  why 
that  particular  arrangement  gives  rise  to  all  the  other  complications 
of  our  bodies.  At  the  present  moment  we  only  know  that  it  does  so, 
and  we  can  be  sure  that  there  are  changes  in  it.  As  has  been  shown 
experimentally,  these  are  changes  in  linear  arrangements,  and  even  a 
change  in  one  nucleotide  at  one  place  can  profoundly  affect  the  other 
substances  produced  in  the  ceU. 

Shapley:  Here  comes  a  good  question: 

F.  Are  enzymes  needed  for  the  production  of  nucleic  acids, 
which  are,  in  turn,  needed  for  the  production  of  enzymes? 

Evans:  The  role  of  enzymes  in  biological  reactions  is  to  alter  the 
rate  at  which  a  reaction  occurs;  they  do  not  create  the  reaction.  There- 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     87 

fore,  it  is  an  inherent  property  of  a  chemical  reaction  to  proceed  in  a 
certain  direction;  this  will  occur  if  one  waits  long  enough.  With  an 
enzyme  present,  it  may  occur  very  rapidly  indeed.  If  it  is  an  inherent 
property  of  the  small  molecules  formed  in  the  Miller-Urey  experiment 
to  condense  and  form  the  large  protein  and  nucleic  acid  macromole- 
cules,  then  this  will  occur  if  one  waits  long  enough.  And,  if  we  have 
a  few  billion  years  to  wait,  that  would  seem  to  be  enough  time. 

Gaffron:  How  many  billion  years  are  available,  Shapley? 

Shapley:  What  do  you  want;  what  is  your  order?  There  are  not 
too  many,  to  be  sure. 

Muller:  Might  I  make  a  point?  Here  I  accept  degrees.  You  can 
have  a  more  or  a  less  efficient  enzyme  as  a  catalyst;  and  undoubtedly 
before  our  present  very  much  improved  enzymes  came  into  existence 
there  were  much  cruder  precursors,  which  the  nucleotide  chains  were 
able  to  produce. 

Gaffron:  The  particular  nucleotide  that  first  invented  its  own 
enzyme  had  an  enormous  advantage  over  all  the  others. 

Shapley:  The  survival  of  the  most  active.  While  enzymes  are 
needed  for  production  of  nucleic  acids,  the  acids  are  not,  in  turn, 
needed  for  fast  production  of  enzymes? 

Muller:  According  to  this  view,  enzymes  are  not  needed  for  pro- 
duction of  nucleic  acids. 

Gaffron:  You  do  it  with  time  first.  After  a  true  nucleic  acid 
evolves  in  the  first  two  billion  years,  it  catalyzes  the  production  of  its 
own  enzyme;  and  from  then  on  reactions  move  rapidly. 

Evans:  We  are  talking  of  reactions  of  which  it  is  an  inherent  prop- 
erty that  they  proceed  spontaneously.  It  is  only  because  these  reactions 
do  not  occur  at  an  appreciable  rate  under  ordinary  conditions  that 
catalytic  enzymes  play  such  an  important  role  in  biological  systems. 

Muller:  If  each  of  these  miUion  molecules  could  then  produce 
another  million  molecules,  thus  increasing  exponentially,  you  would 
soon  recognize  it. 

Shapley:  We  are  dealing  in  astronomical  numbers.  Our  next  ques- 
tion is: 

G.  Modern  life  on  earth  is  extremely  uniform  in  its  basic 
metabolic  reactions.  How  is  this  to  be  explained?  Is  it  to  be 
interpreted  as  a  unique  (highly  improbable)  event,  or  the 
result  of  numerous  chance  combinations  followed  by  selec- 

Gause:  One  manifestation  of  the  uniformity  of  life  can  be  seen  in 
the  optical  activity  of  living  matter — in  the  fact  that  proteins  in  all 
living  things  on  earth  from  bacteria  to  man  are  levorotatory,  or  left- 

88     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

handed.  I  think  this  points  to  the  origin  of  all  living  systems  from  a 
common  ancestor, 

Darwin:  If  I  understand  him  correctly,  Cause  is  making  the  point 
that  we  have  only  levorotatory  molecules,  and  no  dextrorotatory  ones. 
It  seems  likely  that  both  would  have  arisen  equally  at  first,  but  they 
may  have  got  separated  one  from  the  other,  and  one  happened  to 
bump  into  a  volcano,  leaving  only  the  other. 

Shapley:  That  is  a  novel  idea. 

Darv^^in:  We  must  think  about  how  one  type  managed  to  survive, 
and  not  the  other. 

Shapley:  In  nature  we  have  only  one,  and  in  the  laboratory  we 
have  two:  is  that  the  idea? 

Darwin:  I  would  say  that  one  has  to  believe  that,  chemically  speak-  • 
ing,  the  right-  and  left-handed  molecules  would  have  been  equally 
good  for  supporting  life. 

Cause:  It  is  probable  that  at  some  stage  in  the  origin  of  life  the: 
effect  of  circularly  polarized  light  contributed  to  the  preferential  de-  • 
velopment  of  one  optical  form  of  molecules  in  living  matter  at  the; 
expense  of  the  other. 

Darwin:  I  do  not  mean  what  I  am  going  to  suggest  to  be  taken 
seriously;  but  you  might  imagine  that  at  one  time  life  was  developing 
only  in  the  Northern  Hemisphere  and  that  the  earth  had  a  strong 
magnetic  field  that  would  polarize  the  light  there  right-handedly.  This 
might  encourage  the  survival  of  the  levorotatory  molecules  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  dextrorotatory  ones.  I  do  not  think  this  is  more  than  a 

However,  looking  deeper,  you  may  recall  that  physicists  have  re- 
cently been  much  excited  by  the  discovery  of  what  is  called  the  "non- 
conservation  of  parity."  It  is  a  subtle  phenomenon  in  the  theory  of 
the  nucleus  of  atoms;  and  I  cannot  describe  it  here,  but  it  does  mean 
that  right-  and  left-handedness  are  not  equivalent.  However,  this  phe- 
nomenon lies  very  deep,  and  it  is  hardly  likely  to  affect  the  present 
question.  It  is  much  more  likely  that  both  rotations  were  produced 
equally  at  first  but  that,  by  mere  chance,  one  type  got  a  better  prospect 
and  survived,  in  the  end  killing  out  the  other. 

Gaffron:  If  the  production  of  the  key  substance  in  question  was 
a  rare  event  in  comparison  with  the  number  and  speed  of  reactions 
that  it  subsequently  catalyzed,  the  dominance  of  one  isomer  over  the 
other  is  easily  explained  on  the  basis  of  "first  come,  first  served."  This 
holds  even  if  the  original  chances  for  the  appearance  of  either  one 
are  equal.  The  earlier  one  spoils  the  chances  for  the  late  comer. 

Shapley:  You  were  having  me  eaten  up  in  a  volcano? 

Darwin:  I  only  used  the  volcano  to  express  this  chance  for  the 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE      •     89 

survival  of  one  of  the  two  by  killing  the  other  one.  Am  I  to  under- 
stand Cause's  point  to  mean  that,  since  I  am  right-handed,  I  shall 
catch  a  cold  only  from  bacteria  that  are  also  right-handed? 

Gaffron:  Special  enzymes  destroy  the  unwanted  opposite  mirror- 
image  type.  Is  this  a  new  invention  or  a  rehc  from  a  time  when  mole- 
cules had  to  fight  off  their  competitors? 

Cause  :  The  existence  of  enzymes  eliminating  the  unwanted  optical 
isomers  of  molecules  in  living  matter  represents  an  important  ad- 
vantage that  has  been  acquired  through  natural  selection  and  contrib- 
utes to  the  efficiency  of  living  systems. 

Caffron:  The  unique  event  that  started  all  this  might  be  only 
the  historical  moment  when  one  isomer  evolved  first  and  inhibited 
the  development  of  the  otherwise  equally  proficient  other  isomer. 

Cerard:  Isn't  there  an  entirely  different  aspect  of  this  problem? 
The  question  concerns  the  uniformity  of  basic  metaboHc  reactions 
in  modem  life.  We  have  been  talking  about  a  stereoisomeric  aspect 
of  its  structure.  You  can  replace  part  of  the  substances  of  a  human 
brain  cell  with  equivalent  substances  from  a  yeast  cell,  and,  so  far 
as  the  chemical  reactions  are  concerned,  this  mixed  or  hybrid  machine 
works.  It  sort  of  cannibalizes  another  cell.  In  basic  chemical  architec- 
ture and  in  basic  chemical  traffic,  the  simple  cells  and  the  cells  of 
more  complex  organisms  are  essentially  alike.  Of  course,  there  are 
differences  in  the  proteins  and  nucleic  acids,  but  at  this  level  the  sim- 
ilarities are  much  more  striking  than  the  differences,  whereas  prac- 
tically all  the  other  attributes  that  organisms  have  evolved  changed 
markedly  with  time.  In  behavior,  in  the  architecture  of  the  whole, 
and  in  the  mechanisms  of  maintaining  equiUbrium,  you  find  vast  dif- 

I  think  this  ties  up  beautifully  with  the  point  that  Muller  discussed 
earlier,  and  I  am  delighted  to  agree  completely  with  his  presentation. 
To  follow  up  this  matter  of  coding  and  diversification,  it  seems  to 
me  that  the  simpler  the  unit  with  which  you  are  dealing,  the  fewer 
kinds  there  are,  and  the  fewer  are  the  patterns  that  these  can  be  put 
into.  If  you  have  four  nucleic  acids,  you  have  to  arrange  them  in 
three  patterns  of  three  to  get  the  twenty  amino  acids.  If  you  have 
a  limited  number  of  letters  and  you  cannot  use  them  in  indefinite 
numbers,  you  can  get  a  considerably  greater  number  of  words.  Now, 
if  you  combine  those  words  in  larger  constellations,  you  have  an  infin- 
ity of  infinity  of  sentences,  of  paragraphs,  and  everything  else.  Since 
organisms  are  built  up  of  successive  levels  of  using  the  simpler  units 
in  newer  patterns,  each  new  pattern  increases  the  richness  of  the  array 
and  the  numbers  you  can  have.  As  the  possible  number  of  kinds  in- 
creases, the  number  of  individuals  of  that  kind  tends  to  decrease.  It 


90     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

is  for  this  reason  that,  at  the  level  of  chemical  reactions,  you  find  great 
similarities.  But  in  the  ways  that  those  chemical  reactions  have  led 
to  morphological  structures  and  physiological  processes,  one  finds 
vast  differences.  This  is  what  one  would  have  to  expect  from  the  na- 
ture of  the  organization  of  living  things. 

Prosser:  I  should  like  to  emphasize  that  point.  We  have  been  talk- 
ing about  the  nucleic  acids  and  proteins  as  if  these  were  the  only  con- 
stituents of  living  material.  Certainly,  during  the  long  period  of  chem- 
ical evolution,  a  great  host  of  other  organic  compounds  appeared. 
It  is  sometimes  said  that  evolution  might  have  been  accepted  more 
readily  if  Darwin  had  based  his  presentation  on  the  similarity  of  all 
living  things  rather  than  on  their  diversity.  This  common  chemical 
basis  of  all  living  things  should  be  emphasized.  As  biologists,  we  some- 
times fail  to  realize  that  biochemically  and  biophysically  the  most 
important  and  extensive  evolution  occurred  before  there  were  any 
living  things  we  would  recognize  as  such. 

Shapley:  We  entered  life  uniquely,  and  that  was  a  highly  profit- 
able event;  and  then  there  were  numerous  changes,  followed  by  selec- 
tion. I  think  we  have  touched  this  subject  fairly  well,  but  I  don't  be- 
lieve we  have  a  final  answer. 

Our  next  question  is: 

H.  Can  life  originate  under  present  conditions  on  earth? 

Gaffron:  We  all  have  learned  that  Pasteur  disproved  the  notion 
that  the  simplest  organisms  we  know  could  appear  spontaneously. 
He  showed  that  a  cell  comes  only  from  another  cell  of  the  same  kind. 
We  therefore  moved  away  from  that  kind  of  spontaneous  generation. 
We  no  longer  believe  in  the  sudden  appearance  of  a  micro-organism 
but  prefer,  instead,  something  like  Muller's  self-duplicating,  very  small, 
nucleic  acid  screw.  From  this  point  of  view,  one  could  reopen  the 
question  of  life  originating  at  the  present  time. 

We  know  that  the  atmosphere  of  the  earth  has  changed  enormously. 
The  accumulation  of  organic  molecules  dissolved  in  the  ocean,  which 
we  had  at  the  beginning,  probably  would  not  occur  now,  when  there 
is  so  much  oxygen  on  earth.  Today,  organic  substances  simply  are 
not  stable.  If  by  pure  chance  an  organic  molecule  approaching  that 
described  by  Muller  should  appear,  either  it  would  die  of  malnutrition 
(there  would  not  be  enough  free  organic  material  for  it  to  multiply 
with),  or  it  would  be  oxidized.  Organic  material  disappears  by  be- 
ing eaten,  by  being  burned,  or  by  slow  oxidation — which  is  still  a  very 
fast  process,  considering  the  millions  and  billions  of  years  we  are 
talking  about. 

Let  us  assume  that  atomic  radiation  has  killed  everything  on  earth 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     91 

(which  is  unlikely,  since  some  bacteria  might  survive).  The  chance 
that  life  could  evolve  a  second  time  would  depend  on  whether  all 
the  oxygen  on  earth  was  used  up  in  the  oxidation  of  organic  matter. 
I  have  not  made  the  appropriate  calculation.  We  ought  to  know 
whether  the  combustion  of  the  organic  material  now  present  on  earth 
would  remove  all  oxygen  from  the  atmosphere.  If  so,  it  would  mean 
that  the  short-wave  ultraviolet  radiation  could  penetrate  again  to 
the  earth's  solid  surface.  Apart  from  the  presence  of  oxygen,  the  ab- 
sence of  free  hydrogen  presents  an  even  greater  difficulty.  The  orig- 
inal hydrogen  atmosphere  constituted  a  store  of  free  energy  to  work 
with.  This  has  disappeared.  Therefore,  under  present  conditions  on 
earth,  we  should  not  expect  life  to  evolve  a  second  time  spontaneously, 
once  what  is  now  living  has  been  destroyed. 

Another  possibility,  however,  is  the  creation  of  life  in  the  labora- 
tory. The  first  step  to  attempt  this  is  the  Miller  experiment.  Every- 
thing that  we  are  now  discussing  has  been  learned  in  the  last  thirty 
years  or  so.  According  to  Oppenheimer,  the  increase  in  knowledge 
is  such  that  every  ten  years  we  know  twice  as  much  as  we  knew  ten 
years  earlier.  If  this  is  so,  I  am  quite  hopeful  that  we  shall  discover 
one  by  one  the  conditions  that  were  most  favorable  for  the  creation 
of  life;  and,  finally,  in  the  laboratory,  we  might  someday  reach  the 
point  where  Muller's  early  nuclear  type  begins  to  multiply — that  is, 
to  feed  on  unorganized  organic  matter  and  incorporate  this  into  it- 
self: a  conversion  of  disorder  into  order,  similar  to  the  growth  of 
bacteria,  which  we  would  all  agree  to  call  a  living  action. 

Gerard:  I  think  this  is  a  very  beautiful  picture,  if  an  unhappy 
one.  Incidentally,  on  the  exponential  rise  of  science  Derek  Price  has 
shown  that  we  seem  to  have  reached  the  inflection  point,  where  one 
or  two  more  doublings  in  about  fifteen  years  will  not  keep  up  the  rate. 
It  is  beginning  to  slope  off. 

I  am  sure  Gaffron  won't  mind  my  suggesting  that  Pasteur  did  not 
prove  that  life  cannot  originate;  what  he  did  prove  was  that  reports 
of  the  spontaneous  origin  of  life  were  due  to  errors  and  the  admission 
of  pre-existing  life. 

Gaffron:  Strictly  speaking,  we  can  only  disprove  things,  never 
quite  prove  them.  We  fall  into  the  habit  of  talking  the  other  way 
around,  when  something  has  not  been  disproved  for  a  long  time. 

Gerard:  Pasteur  did  not  disprove  the  possibility  of  forming  life 
under  the  kinds  of  conditions  you  were  talking  about.  He  showed 
that  life  could  not  be  formed  in  a  swanneck  glass  retort  in  a  few 
months  at  the  temperatures  of  the  laboratory  if  he  did  nothing  more 
to  it.  This  is  very  different  from  saying  that  life  could  not  conceivably 
form  under  the  conditions  that  now  exist  in  the  universe.  However, 

92     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

I  certainly  agree  that  the  natural  formation  of  new  life  is  unlikely^ 
because,  as  you  pointed  out,  larger  and  stronger  living  things  would  I 
eat  up  the  prototypes  as  these  appeared;  they  would  never  have  ai 
chance  to  survive.  To  a  certain  extent,  this  is  also  true  of  higher  species. 
Some  of  the  other  panels  will  discuss  the  chances  of  a  new  form  com-  • 
ing  in  and  occupying  an  ecological  niche.  And  it  is  perhaps  true  even  i 
at  the  social  level.  How  do  you  get  a  piece  of  property  when  all  the* 
property  belongs  to  someone? 

Shapley:  Then  new  life — what  we  call  life — probably  could  not  I 
start  on  this  planet  any  more,  unless  some  great  changes  came  about, , 
because  either  the  oxygen  would  burn  it  up  or  the  bacteria  would  eat : 
it  up.  Therefore,  we  should  take  good  care  of  the  life  we  have  andl 
not  destroy  it. 

I  have  been  asked  to  poll  the  panel  for  opinions  about  Gaffron's; 
estimate  that  life  can  be  created  in  test  tubes  in  a  thousand  years. 

Gaffron:  That  statement  probably  comes  from  one  of  those  news; 
releases,  in  which  an  article  of  fifty  pages  is  condensed  into  fifty 
sentences  and  certain  things  simply  get  lost.  On  the  same  page  of  my 
paper  where  I  said  it  might  be  possible  to  solve  our  problem  within 
the  next  thousand  years,  I  also  said,  "provided  that  one  of  these  famous 
improbable  events  is  not  involved."  With  one  of  those  interposed,  we 
shall  never  create  life. 

Shapley:  It  seems  to  me  you  evaded  that  rather  well. 

Darv^in:  Do  you  mean  that  there  will  have  to  be  a  gestation  of 
the  brains  of  the  human  race  for  a  thousand  years  before  we  see  how 
it  can  be  done,  or  do  you  mean  that  the  development  itself  would  take 
the  thousand  years?  These  are  two  quite  different  matters. 

Gaffron:  If  we  have  to  deal  with  an  improbable  event,  which  hap- 
pened in  the  course  of  evolution,  we  have  to  wait  a  little  too  long 
for  it  to  happen  also  in  the  test  tube. 

Shapley:  Do  we  believe  that  before  a  thousand  years  life  can  be 
created  in  a  test  tube?  Without  any  definition  of  what  I  mean  by  "life," 
do  you  wish  to  say  "yes"  or  "no"? 

Darwin:  I  don't  ask  for  a  definition  of  life  because  I  am  afraid 
you  can't  define  it.  But,  as  I  understand  it,  you  think  that  the  research- 
ers will  not  understand  what  life  means  so  as  to  produce  it  until  they 
have  worked  for  a  thousand  years. 

Dobzhansky:  I  am  optimistic  enough  to  believe  that  in  a  thou- 
sand years  we  shall  know  a  great  deal  that  we  do  not  know  now.  I 
see  no  reason  why  the  problem  of  the  origin  of  life  should  take  even 
that  long  to  be  solved.  This  may  be  overoptimistic,  but  I  think  it  is 
not  unjustified. 

Evans:  If  you  are  talking  in  terms  of  a  replicating  and  mutating 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     93 

macromolecule,  then  I  would  say  that  it  is  quite  possible  within  a 
thousand  years. 

Gause  :  I  think  it  is  better  to  be  optimistic. 

Shapley:  Isn't  a  thousand  years  rather  long  to  wait  for  this  to  hap- 

Gause:  If  we  believe  we  can  do  it  in  a  thousand  years,  perhaps  we 

shall  make  it  in  five  hundred. 

Gaffron:  You  auction  it  off. 

Shapley:  What  will  you  give,  Gerard? 

Gerard:  I  think  I  am  really  the  optimist.  When  you  remember 
that  practically  all  we  now  know  has  been  learned  in  250  years  of 
science  and  most  of  this  in  one-quarter  of  that  time;  when  you  find 

out as  Panel  Four  will  show  later  in  the  week — that  the  growth  of 

human  mental  capacity  is  perhaps  very  great;  then  Heaven  knows 
what  can  be  done  in  a  good  deal  less  than  one  thousand  years.  I  am 
willing  to  repeat  a  prediction  I  made  once  about  understanding  one 
of  the  important  mental  diseases:  I  said  that  I  was  quite  confident 
that  it  would  be  solved  during  my  lifetime.  I  am  safe  on  that. 

Muller:  I  think  I  am  going  to  shock  Gerard,  if  he  thinks  he  is 
optimistic.  My  answer  is  that  those  who  define  life  as  I  do  will  admit 
that  the  most  primitive  forms  of  things  that  deserve  to  be  called  liv- 
ing have  already  been  made  in  the  test  tube  by  A.  Romberg. 

Shapley:  MuUer's  estimate  is  minus  some  years. 

Prosser:  I  would  certainly  say  that  molecules  of  the  DNA  type 
wiU  soon  be  made  to  replicate  even  in  the  absence  of  appropriate 
protein  catalysts.  Even  if  you  add  to  this  other  criteria,  such  as  those 
Gerard  stipulated  earlier— most  of  which  I  will  support— I  think  one 
thousand  years  is  pessimistic  rather  than  optimistic.  However,  it  must 
be  recognized  that  Miller  has  not  found  purine-pynmidme  bases, 
much  less  nucleotides,  in  his  "primitive"  system. 

Shapley:  I  have  written  down:  "It  will  be  accomplished  betore 
the  end  of  this  century." 

The  next  question  is: 

I    What  were  the  energy  sources  allowing  for  a  continuous 
increase  in  complexity  of  pre-biological  organic  systems? 

That  is,  what  is  the  source  of  energy  that  started  all  this  off?  We 
seem  to  a^ree  that  energy  is  necessary  to  go  from  the  inanimate,  such 
as  this  pencil,  to  the  animate,  such  as  Gaffron.  You  need  some  energy, 
and  whence  Cometh  that  energy? 

I  remember  discussing  this  problem  with  Harold  Urey,  and  to- 
gether we  pointed  out  that  there  were  at  least  four  sources  of  energy. 
One  was  already  mentioned— lightning;  undoubtedly  there  was  light- 

94     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

ning  on  the  surface  of  the  earth,  because  we  had  atmospheres  moving 
around.  There  would  be  electrical  discharges.  Lightning  was  there, 
all  right;  it  is  recorded  on  Jupiter  at  the  present  time.  A  second  source 
is  the  earth's  body  heat,  from  volcanoes  or  hot  springs.  But  I  favor 
lightning  because  it  was  established  by  the  experiments  synthesizing 
amino  acids.  A  third  source  was  ultraviolet  light  from  the  sun.  And 
gamma  radiation  from  the  decay  of  radioactive  elements  is  a  fourth 
source  of  energy,  one  that  seems  to  be  favored  in  the  research  labora- 
tory of  General  Mills  in  Minneapolis.  Those  are  four  sources  of  en- 
ergy, but  the  process  is  more  complicated  than  I  have  outlined,  and 
somebody  should  pick  this  up  and  show  why  we  must  sort  out  these 
electrical  sources — or  whatever  the  sources  were — in  order  to  keep 
life  going. 

Gaffron:  If  the  Miller  experiment  is  valid — and  we  all  beheve 
it  is — then,  of  course,  the  source  was  ultraviolet  light  or,  let  us  say, 
anything  that  would  produce  radicals  from  the  otherwise  colorless 
atmosphere  of  that  time. 

Shapley:  Miller's  experiment  used  lightning,  not  ultraviolet  light. 

Gaffron:  Yes;  but  since  the  main  object  is  to  produce  radicals, 
this  is  only  an  exchange  of  methods.  Couldn't  electrical  discharges  and 
ultraviolet  light  be  considered  equivalent,  if  the  result  is  simply  to  have 
one  little  leg  of  a  molecule  dangling  where  some  other  thing  can  come 

Shapley:  And  isn't  it  true  that  you  would  not  need  ultraviolet 
light  if  you  waited  long  enough?  All  you  would  need  is  radiation  from 
the  sun. 

Gaffron:  Yes;  but  how  effective  would  radiation  be  without  any 
color?  There  might  have  been  colored  minerals,  of  a  kind  not  used 
today  in  living  matter;  and  certainly  on  the  surface  of  colored  minerals 
you  might  have  had  certain  reactions.  I  don't  know  any  examples  of 
this  from  our  laboratory. 

Prosser:  May  not  porphyrins  have  been  established  fairly  early 
from  these  other  sources,  with  the  porphyrins  then  able  to  absorb 
light  from  the  sun? 

Gaffron:  But  porphyrins  are  really  an  enormous  step  forward. 
We  are  still  in  the  colorless  Urey  atmosphere,  where  the  only  thing 
that  can  happen  is  that  some  bonds  of  these  simple  molecules  are 
broken  and  then  put  together  again  in  new  simple  combinations.  The 
problem  here  is  that  these  new  molecules  would  absorb  more  of  the 
long-wave  ultraviolet  Hght  and  might  be  broken  up  again.  How  could 
these  survive?  One  possibility  is  that  they  were  washed  into  the  ocean. 
Once  a  molecule  has  a  carboxyl  group  or  an  amino  group  attached, 
it  becomes  water-soluble  and  can  disappear  in  the  depths  and  is  there- 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     95 

fore  protected.  In  this  way,  a  great  deal  of  organic  material  could 
have  accumulated  with  the  aid  of  lightning  or  ultraviolet  light. 

When  you  have  larger  molecules,  you  must  handle  them  gently. 
The  chemist,  of  course,  uses  the  Bunsen  burner,  and  nature  might 
have  used  volcanoes  to  cook  a  little.  In  the  experiments  of  S.  W.  Fox, 
amino  acids,  when  heated,  combine  into  high  molecular  amino  acid 
polymers,  which  are  protein-like  substances.  The  latest  information 
I  have  on  these  experiments  is  that  sulfuric  acid  does  not  favor  the 
polymerization  but  that  phosphoric  acid  and  especially  polyphosphates 
and  organic  phosphates  like  ATP  help  considerably.  Now  we  know 
that  phosphoric  acid  in  condensed  form  is  one  of  the  sources  of  en- 
ergy in  living  cells.  So  this  predilection  for  complexed  or  polymerized 
phosphoric  acid  may  have  started  very  early. 

Ultraviolet  could  not  continue  as  a  source  of  energy  indefinitely, 
because,  as  hydrogen  slowly  escaped,  the  atmosphere  changed  from 
a  reducing  one  to  one  in  which  oxygen  began  to  accumulate.  Direct 
decomposition  of  water  molecules  speeded  up  this  process.  From  free 
oxygen,  ultraviolet  light  formed  ozone  and  produced  in  the  upper  at- 
mosphere an  ozone  layer,  which  in  turn  intercepted  the  short  ultra- 
violet-wave radiation  that  had  provided  energy. 

So  another  source  of  energy  was  necessary,  and  here  come  in 
Prosser's  porphyrins.  Since  only  acetic  acid  and  amino  acid  are  needed 
to  produce  organic  molecules  of  a  dye  type,  which  absorb  visible 
light,  here  is  a  new  energy  source.  There  is  a  shift  from  ultraviolet 
to  visible  light,  and  the  amount  of  light  available  is  enormous.  This 
might  be  a  prototype  of  what  we  now  call  "photosynthesis,"  but  the 
complexity  of  photosynthesis  clearly  indicates  that  it  appeared  much 
later;  its  origin  might  have  been  pre-cellular,  but  certainly  it  arose 
by  steps.  I  think  Harold  Blum  was  one  of  the  first  to  note  that  the 
simple  one-quantum  process  where  molecule  A  gets  a  hydrogen  atom 
from  molecule  B,  which  it  would  have  to  wait  a  million  years  for 
without  light,  could  take  place  within  one  second  with  the  aid  of  an 
illuminated  dye  molecule  acting  as  an  intermediary.  In  this  way,  dye- 
stuffs,  once  formed,  could  speed  up  reactions  and  use  ordinary  day- 
light as  an  energy  source. 


J.  When  and  how  did  the  change  from  anaerobic  to  aerobic 
conditions  occur? 

One  current  theory  about  the  origin  of  the  earth  and  other  planets 
holds  that  a  cloud  of  gas,  as  it  contracted,  formed  the  sun — or  the 
forerunner  of  the  sun — and  protoplanets,  one  of  which  was  the  earth. 

96     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

I  think  some  theories  would  say  that  the  earth-forming  nebula  that 
preceded  what  we  have  now  was  perhaps  ten  times  as  massive  as  the 
present  earth. 

What  was  that  mass  made  of?  Hydrogen,  very  largely,  because 
the  sun  is  mostly  hydrogen.  Eight-tenths  of  the  sun  and  all  the  stars 
are  hydrogen.  Here,  on  earth,  hydrogen  is  relatively  scarce  and  is 
apt  to  combine  with  oxygen  into  water  and  with  other  elements;  most 
of  the  original  hydrogen  has  escaped  because  the  mass  of  the  earth 
is  not  enough  to  hold  it  down,  and  the  sun,  with  its  radiation,  can 
heat  it  up  and  speed  it  away.  Presumably,  during  the  first  billion  years 
of  its  existence,  or  much  less  than  that,  the  earth  was  steadily  losing 
its  hydrogen.  The  earth  shrank,  and  we  now  have  left  this  remnant — 
perhaps  one-tenth — of  the  original  earth.  There  is  a  good  deal  in 
favor  of  that  particular  interpretation,  and  it  explains  the  remarkable 
fact  that  in  the  universe  at  large  hydrogen  is  predominant  and  oxygen 
relatively  scarce. 

Here  on  the  face  of  the  earth,  however,  oxygen  forms  about  50 
per  cent  of  the  total.  Oxygen  is  common;  it  is  heavier  than  hydrogen 
and  less  easily  lost.  Nearly  one-quarter  of  earth's  atmosphere  now 
is  free  oxygen,  which  was  not  present  in  the  early  days.  The  oxygen 
of  the  atmosphere  was  built  up  in  more  than  one  way:  photosynthesis, 
for  instance,  and  the  dissociation  of  water  vapor  by  radiation  of  the 
sun,  perhaps  at  the  top  of  the  atmosphere.  So  we  look  at  this  partic- 
ular oxygen  situation  as  a  detail  of  the  evolution  of  the  earth.  The 
earth,  together  with  its  atmosphere,  evolved  over  billions  of  years 
by  building  up  its  content  of  free  oxygen,  where  there  had  been  prac- 
tically none.  I  would  say  that  the  atmospheric  ozone  layer,  which  is 
some  ten  to  thirty  miles  above  the  earth's  surface,  is  enough  to  shut 
off  the  ultraviolet  light,  which  we  could  not  now  stand  but  which  was 
probably  rather  important  in  earlier  evolution.  In  the  early  days,  water 
— J.  B.  S.  Haldane's  "hot  thin  soup" — could  give  protection  from 
ultraviolet  radiation. 

Darwin:  I  wish  to  ask  one  question  about  the  first  appearance  of 
oxygen.  I  quite  accept  that  hydrogen  would  leak  away  at  the  top  of 
the  sky.  Would  not  the  next  effect  be  for  oxygen  not  to  come  into 
existence  but  to  attack  the  methane,  break  that  up,  and  get  rid  of 
it  into  water  and  carbon  dioxide?  The  water  would  then  decompose, 
and  the  hydrogen  leak  away.  Wouldn't  it  be  a  very  long  time  before 
oxygen  appeared  as  02  and  03;  wouldn't  it  mostly  go  into  carbon 
dioxide  first? 

Gaffron:  Oxygen  in  contact  with  carbon  or  organic  material  very 
probably  would  react.  Hence  the  carboxyl  groups  of  the  organic  com- 
pounds found  in  the  Miller-Urey  experiment. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     97 

Darwin  :  It  might  take  one  billion  years  to  get  rid  of  the  methane. 
We  know  there  is  methane  on  Jupiter,  don't  we? 

Shapley:  Methane  and  ammonia  and  water — in  fact,  the  planet 
Jupiter  may  be  mostly  ice.  All  Jupiter  needs  is  for  the  sun  to  become 
hot  enough  to  get  Jupiter's  temperature  up  to  liquid-water  state  (which 
would  scorch  us),  and  then  it  would  have  all  the  materials  to  start 
out  a  Jovian  life. 

Darwin:  When  does  carbon  dioxide  appear  in  the  history  of  earth? 

Shapley:  I  don't  know. 

Gaffron:  It  might  be  after  the  hydrogen  had  disappeared  and 
water  began  to  be  decomposed  by  the  ultraviolet  radiation. 

Shapley:  It  could  be  that,  yes. 

Prosser:  So  far  we  have  been  talking  about  energy  sources  pri- 
marily for  synthesis.  We  have  been  considering  extra-terrestrial  sources 
— ultraviolet,  lightning,  cosmic  rays — and  then  we  considered  the 
fact  that,  as  oxygen  increased  (perhaps  by  decomposition  of  water), 
the  ultraviolet  would  be  cut  off  as  a  source  of  energy. 

We  know  that  life  today  does  not  rely  on  ultraviolet  or  on  Ughtning 
for  energy.  Living  things  make  use  of  organic  compounds  formed  by 
photosynthesis,  which  store  up  energy  and  are  then  decomposed  by 
appropriate  reactions;  usually  the  energy  is  transferred  by  some  in- 
termediate, commonly  a  compound  with  high-energy  phosphate  bonds. 
It  is  highly  probable  that  such  energy  stores  appeared  very  early  in 
chemical  evolution  and  that,  as  these  stores  accumulated,  energy 
could  be  transferred  for  biological  work  from  these  pre-existing  com- 
pounds. Some  of  the  reactions  by  which  stored  energy  is  released, 
particularly  by  removal  of  hydrogen  and  transfer  of  energy,  often 
operate  without  oxygen  and  must  have  occurred  in  the  anaerobic 
period  of  evolution.  This  type  of  metaboHsm  (if  we  can  call  it  that) 
in  pro-organisms  could  proceed  very  well  so  long  as  there  was  an 
adequate  store  of  energy  sources.  As  soon  as  oxygen  began  to  ap- 
pear, the  amount  of  ultraviolet  impinging  on  the  air  certainly  de- 
creased, and  energy  sources  were  no  longer  replenished. 

Probably  the  more  important  source  of  oxygen  was  photosynthesis, 
and  it  seems  probable  that  this  process  appeared  in  some  form,  mak- 
ing use  of  pigments  or  porphyrins,  probably  coupled  with  metals,  well 
before  there  were  organized  photosynthetic  structures  such  as  we  might 
consider  essential  for  photosynthesis  today.  With  this  shift,  there  cer- 
tainly was  a  change  in  the  atmosphere.  There  was  also  a  change  from 
anaerobic  metabolism  to  aerobic,  and  it  seems  to  me  that  this  is  a 
rather  critical  step  in  chemical  evolution.  Virtually  all  living  things 
today  have  retained  most  of  the  enzymes  associated  with  anaerobic 
metabolism,  and  most  of  them  have  added  the  aerobic  enzymes.  As 

98     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

we  mentioned  earlier,  the  principal  classes  of  biochemicals  were  estab- 
lished before  there  were  any  organisms.  So  it  would  appear  that  the 
transition  from  anaerobic  to  aerobic  conditions  was  a  very  critical 
step  and  extended  over  a  long  period  of  time  but  that  living  things 
have  retained  both  types  of  metabolism. 

While  I  am  talking,  I  should  like  to  bring  up  a  feature  of  pro-or- 
ganisms that  has  not  been  mentioned  so  far;  in  fact,  I  do  not  know 
how  this  was  left  out  as  a  question.  It  seems  to  me  that  one  of  the 
criteria  (and  an  important  one)  of  living  things  is  that  they  are  dif- 
ferent internally  from  the  medium  in  which  they  live.  In  other  words, 
there  is  a  surface,  which  in  living  cells  we  call  a  "cell  membrane," 
that  permits  certain  substances  to  pass  and  prevents  others  from  pass- 
ing. Not  only  are  organic  molecules  retained,  but  some  inorganic  ions 
become  concentrated  inside  while  others  are  excluded;  different  con- 
centrations of  ions  inside  and  out  are  due  only  slightly  to  binding  by 
organic  molecules  but  more  to  properties  of  the  surface.  I  suggest 
that  the  selectively  permeable  surface  is  one  of  the  criteria  that  should 
be  applied  to  a  pro-organism,  certainly  at  a  more  complex  stage  of 
organization  than  the  nucleotide  molecule.  I  should  not  wish  to  end 
this  discussion  without  emphasizing  that  the  surface  of  the  macro- 
molecules  that  constituted  pro-organisms  was  certainly  there  before 
there  were  organisms. 

Gause:  There  is  one  special  point  I  should  like  to  mention  here. 
It  seems  that  the  invention  of  cytochromes  and  other  mechanisms 
that  made  possible  the  aerobic  way  of  life  was  very  important  in  the 
evolution  of  living  matter.  We  can  judge  the  importance  of  all  these 
mechanisms  now  by  the  analysis  of  certain  retrogressions  to  a  primi- 
tive state  that  accompany  the  injury  of  cellular  respiratory  mecha- 
nisms. Cancer  is  one  of  these.  In  tumor  cells  the  impaired  respiration 
is  accompanied  by  many  losses,  which  make  their  disorganized  growth 
possible.  This  problem  is  of  wide  biological  significance,  and  its  mani- 
festations can  be  observed  in  various  forms  of  life. 

Shapley:  Gause  is  an  expert  on  the  relation  of  cancer  to  the  proc- 
esses we  are  talking  about. 

Evans:  The  aerobic  process  is  much  more  effective  from  the  stand- 
point of  energy  supply.  For  example,  the  anaerobic  use  of  glucose 
gives  only  about  one-eighth  the  energy  that  can  be  obtained  aerobically. 
From  the  standpoint  of  efficient  utilization  of  foodstuffs,  aerobic  mech- 
anisms are  obviously  much  more  efficient. 

Shapley:  Would  you  say  what  "aerobic"  and  "anaerobic"  mean? 

Evans:  Aerobic  pertains  to  metabolic  processes  requiring  and  us- 
ing molecular  oxygen,  while  anaerobic  pertains  to  metabolic  reac- 
tions that  can  occur  in  the  complete  absence  of  oxygen. 

Gause:  It  is  clear  that  there  are  important  quantitative  differences 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     •     99 

in  the  efficiency  of  utilization  of  energy  under  aerobic  and  anaerobic 
ways  of  life.  But,  as  Pasteur  pointed  out,  there  are  also  important 
qualitative  differences:  certain  processes  and  differentiations  in  liv- 
ing matter  can  occur  only  in  the  presence  of  oxygen. 

Gerard:  In  getting  away  from  proto-life,  you  frightened  me  so 
that  I  kept  quiet  for  a  while.  But  now  we  are  up  to  cancer  and  multi- 
cellular organisms,  I  should  like  to  point  out  (this  really  ties  back 
to  this  question  of  aerobic  metabolism  and  also  back  to  energy  sources) 
a  very  striking  thing:  that  this  relatively  complex  porphyrin  molecule 
was  used  first  to  make  chlorophyll,  which  captured  sunlight  energy 
and  made  possible  the  great  deployment  of  plants  and  therefore  of 

Second,  it  was  the  basis  of  most  of  the  oxidizing  enzymes  in  cells, 
which  made  possible  the  exploitation  of  the  aerobic  mode  of  life  and 
greatly  increased  the  rate  of  metabolism.  And,  since  living  things  are 
always  meeting  stresses  and  are  always  competing  with  each  other 
and  since  survival  does  depend  on  a  certain  degree  of  fitness,  the  or- 
ganism that  could  move  faster  "got  there  fustest,"  and  the  early  bird 
got  the  worm,  and  all  that — not  worrying  about  the  worm. 

The  next  advance  along  the  same  line  happened  in  multicellular 
animal  evolution,  where,  with  rise  in  body  temperature  at  a  greater 
rate,  it  again  became  necessary  to  get  oxygen  into  the  inner  cells 
that  it  could  no  longer  reach  through  diffusion.  And  respiration  and 
circulation  and  the  like  really  depended  on  still  another  biological 
invention  based  on  this  same  basic  molecule:  the  invention  of  hemo- 
globin, which  made  it  possible  for  blood  to  carry  tens  or  even  hun- 
dreds of  times  as  much  oxygen  as  it  could  carry  before.  And  so  each 
step  in  this  molecular  evolution  made  possible  new  advances  that 
solved  bottlenecks  in  the  further  advance  of  Uving  organisms. 

Prosser:  It  is  all  based  on  the  same  type  of  molecule. 

Gerard:  That's  the  point:  all  three  of  these  inventions  involve 
the  basic  porphyrin  molecule. 

Gaffron:  In  certain  bacteria  one  has  a  model  of  the  adjustment 
from  anaerobic  to  aerobic  life.  So  long  as  there  is  no  oxygen,  they 
multiply  very  nicely  at  the  expense  of  organic  compounds  by  the  in- 
efficient, but  quite  workable,  process  of  fermentation.  As  soon  as 
oxygen  is  admitted,  they  die.  However,  if  the  bacteria  find  in  their 
surroundings  some  of  these  porphyrin  iron  compounds — ordinary 
hemin,  for  instance — they  take  these  in  and  produce  for  themselves 
the  proper  iron-proto-porphyrin  enzymes  for  respiration  and  also  en- 
zymes to  destroy  hydrogen  peroxide — should  this  dangerous  sub- 
stance be  formed — and  under  these  circumstances  they  are  not  killed 
by  oxygen  but  live  happily  ever  after. 

These  bacteria  must  take  up  their  porphyrins  from  the  medium, 

100     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

just  as  a  diabetic  needs  a  shot  of  insulin  from  time  to  time;  so  actu- 
ally what  we  have  here  is  not  yet  a  permanent  adaptation  to  aerobic 
conditions.  But,  should  the  favorable  circumstances  continue  long 
enough,  one  could  assume  that  by  the  process  of  Darwinian  evolu- 
tion and  selection  the  bacteria  could  learn  not  only  to  use  but  also 
to  synthesize  porphyrins.  This  is  one  of  the  possible  models  of  a  bio- 
logical adjustment  to  the  change  from  anaerobic  to  aerobic  condi- 

Shapley:  Nature  has  made  two  major  inventions — photosynthesis 
and  hemoglobin — and  without  those  we  wouldn't  be  here.  I  shall  ask 
Darwin  for  a  comment  about  the  next  question,  topic  No.  6: 

What  is  the  probability  of  life  on  other  planets? 

Darwin:  I  hoped  you  would  begin  by  saying  how  many  planets 
there  are  that  could  support  life. 

Shapley:  Myriads;  maybe  multillions. 

Darwin:  10-°? 

Shapley:  More  than  10-°  stars.  And  those  stars  are  competent 
to  provide  life  for  any  planets  around  them.  Probably  most  of  them 
would  have  planets  of  some  sort,  so  your  10-°  is  all  right. 

Darwin:  As  I  understand  the  question,  it  is  whether  life  is  an  ex- 
tremely improbable  event  or  whether  it  could  happen  easily.  I  like 
to  put  these  things  in  numerical  figures,  which  are  easier  to  grasp. 
Therefore,  let  me  assume  that  it  has  happened  only  once. 

Shapley:  Once  in  10^°? 

Darwin:  Let  us  assume  that  we  have  sent  out  space  ships  to  ex- 
plore all  the  planets  in  the  universe  where  conditions  could  support 
life  and  that  we  have  found  them  all  absolutely  bare.  Then  we  can 
say  that  the  creation  of  life  is  an  extremely  improbable  event,  having 
happened  only  once  in  10-°  times. 

I  like  to  put  these  things  in  numerical  form,  and  the  easiest  way 
is  to  think  of  the  spinning  of  a  coin.  If  you  spin  a  coin  five  times — 
playing  not  with  a  stranger  in  a  bar  but  with  a  trustworthy  friend — 
you  are  unlikely  to  get  heads  all  five  times.  But  once  in  about  thirty 
times  you  will.  My  calculation  is  that  if  the  creation  of  life  is  an  ex- 
ceedingly improbable  event,  which  has  happened  only  once  in  the 
whole  universe,  that  is  as  though,  in  playing  the  game  against  the 
other  planets,  we  had  won  the  toss  about  sixty  times  running  with 
no  failures  in  between. 

Shapley:  That  is  dramatic  enough.  That  10^°  is  a  hundred  thou- 
sand million  billion — American  billions. 

If  we  are  referring  to  the  planets  of  this  system,  I  would  say  the 
chances  of  life  are  pretty  dim,  but  not  conclusive.  If  you  will  ask  the 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     101 

question  a  few  years  from  now,  we  shall  be  able  to  answer  it  a  little 
better  than  we  can  now.  The  conditions  on  Mars  are  such  that  low 
forms  of  life,  like  the  algae,  maybe  mosses — very  low  forms  like 
lichens — could  apparently  exist.  We  don't  know  very  much  about 
conditions  on  Venus,  except  that  there  is  very  little  oxygen  in  its  at- 
mosphere and  therefore  not  much  plant  life.  In  the  future  we  might 
penetrate  the  shield  of  clouds  and  learn  something  about  the  surface. 

The  probability  of  other  life  in  our  solar  system  is  not  very  high; 
but,  with  10-"  other  suns  and  a  great  deal  of  cosmic  time  and  the 
method  of  the  birth  of  planets  pretty  well  worked  out  (there  are  two 
or  three  methods),  we  could  say  that  the  probability  is  exceedingly 
high  that  there  is  life — not  our  life;  probably  not  vertebrates  or  any- 
thing of  that  kind — on  at  least  one  hundred  million  (I  use  one  hun- 
dred million  just  to  be  conservative),  a  hundred  million  where  there 
has  been  a  long  evolution  of  organisms.  This  is  all  speculation;  but 
I  have  to  call  to  your  attention  that  the  one  place  we  have  found  life — 
in  fact,  practice  it — is  just  an  ordinary  planet  around  an  ordinary 
star — a  run-of-the-mill  star — which  is  out  at  the  edge  of  a  galaxy 
that  has  at  least  one  hundred  billion  other  stars;  and  that  galaxy  is 
one  of  billions.  It  is  asking  too  much  to  think  that  this  is  the  only 
place.  I  believe  you  get  "tails"  once  or  twice  in  your  sixty  throws,  all 

Darwin:  I  agree  entirely  that  it  is  much  more  likely  that  the  chances 
for  life  are  very  much  stronger.  If  you  only  needed  to  win  twenty 
throws  instead  of  sixty,  there  would  be  a  good  chance  of  life  on  a  great 
many  planets. 

Shapley:  As  I  understand  it,  you  are  a  little  stingy  with  life? 

Darwin:  It  gives  you  much  better  chances. 

Shapley:  Oh  yes,  much  better. 

Many  astronomers  would  say  that,  from  the  way  stars  are  born, 
every  one  of  them  would  have  a  family  of  planets  (unless  it  is  a  double 
star  that  could  perturb  planets  out  of  its  system).  That  would  mean  a 
tremendous  number  of  stars  with  planets.  To  go  from  that  to  the 
number  that  would  have  liquid  water  and  from  that  to  the  number 
where  life  started,  of  course,  diminishes  the  chances  from  10^*^  to  a 
mere,  say,  one  hundred  million.  But  those  who  speculate  on  this  think 
I  am  very  conservative. 

Muller:  I  should  like  to  mention  a  hypothesis  that  I  think  is  held 
by  a  number  of  people,  one  expressed  by  the  Burbidges  in  Science 
about  a  year  ago:  that  only  in  stars  of  what  they  call  the  third  gen- 
eration or  later  are  there  enough  of  the  heavy  elements  to  support 
life  as  we  know  it  and  that  our  sun  is  apparently  one  of  the  oldest  of 
that  youngest  generation  of  stars,  and  therefore  presents  much  more 

102     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

suitable  conditions  for  the  evolution  of  life  as  we  have  it  on  earth 
than  the  vast  majority  of  other  stars  would.  Do  you  think  there  is 
some  basis  for  that  theory? 

Shapley:  That  is  included  in  my  calculation.  The  Burbidges  and 
others — Fowler,  Greenstein,  and  others — have  worked  out  very  bril- 
liantly, and  it  seems  to  me  very  convincingly,  the  evidence  that  the 
atoms  of  matter  themselves  evolve,  and  so  evolution  applies  not  only 
to  the  biological  world  but  to  the  world  of  matter.  Our  sun  is  a  middle- 
aged  star,  but  we  have  in  our  catalogue  at  Harvard  40,000  stars  whose 
spectra  are  the  same  as  the  sun's.  That,  I  think,  is  an  indication  that 
about  10  per  cent  of  all  the  stars — that  is,  more  than  10^^ — would 
be  like  our  sun.  To  be  like  our  sun  and  still  able  to  carry  out  these 
particular  biological  activities,  I  would  be  willing  to  say  perhaps  only 
one  in  a  million.  In  fact,  I  have  said  that  only  one  in  a  million  million 
stars  might  support  life.  Therefore,  life  does  not  have  to  appear  very 
often  to  attain  that  number  of  a  hundred  million.  We  support  the 
proposition,  you  see,  that  the  new  work  on  the  origin  of  life — like 
the  Miller-Urey  experiment — and  the  new  evidence  of  an  expand- 
ing universe  and  new  evidence  of  the  total  number  of  stars  give 
us  very  good  and  convincing  indications  that  conditions  elsewhere 
throughout  the  universe  must  be  very  favorable  for  life.  And  I  think 
I  am  doing  a  service  to  this  group  if  I  point  out  that  you  ought  to  be 
proud  you  are  in  such  a  grand  universe. 

Dobzhansky:  I  was  rather  embarrassed  to  find  myself  on  the  panel 
discussing  the  origin  of  life,  which  I  know  nothing  about.  The  only 
thing  I  hoped  was  that  I  might  keep  silent  and  look  wise.  One  of  my 
distinguished  colleagues  told  me  that  he  doubted  that  I  would  be  able 
to  do  either;  and  you  see  he  was  right. 

Now,  I  don't  know  the  probability  of  life  on  other  planets.  I  take 
it  that  this  probability  is  fairly  high.  But  if  life  does  exist  on  other 
planets,  and  even  on  a  very  large  number  of  these,  it  does  not  follow 
that  this  is  very  much  like  the  life  we  know.  To  put  it  a  little  more 
exactly,  it  does  not  follow  that  the  evolution  of  life  on  these  other 
planets  has  been  very  similar  to  the  evolution  of  life  on  earth.  Evolu- 
tion is  a  long  and  complex  process  involving  very  many  changes  in 
the  genes  and  the  nucleic  acids  and  so  forth.  Now  the  likelihood  that 
these  changes  could  have  occurred  twice  in  the  same  way,  either  on 
earth  or  on  other  planets,  is  not  great.  This  seems  to  me  an  important 
point,  because  very  often  when  people  speak  of  life  on  other  planets, 
they  automatically  assume  that  Martians,  for  instance,  will  be  pretty 
much  like  us.  This  does  not  follow  from  the  evidence;  personally,  I 
think  it  is  improbable. 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     -     103 
Shapley:  Topic  No.  7  asks 

What  are  the  possibilities  of  transport  of  germs  through 

Muller:  Germs  in  space,  unprotected  by  a  good  deal  of  solid 
material  around  them,  would  be  destroyed  by  radiation  of  varied 
kinds — protons  and  photons,  ultraviolet  and  gamma — before  they 
reached  another  planet.  I  do  not  see  how  they  are  going  to  get  out 
into  space,  short  of  something  like  volcanic  action,  in  which  case  it 
is  hard  to  understand  why  they  should  not  be  killed,  unless,  of  course, 
it  is  done  artificially. 

Shapley:  If  it  is  left  to  nature  to  infect  us  with  spores  from  other 
planets,  the  probability  is  very  slight;  but  if  they  were  pushed  in  hard 
with  rockets,  they  might  get  here  with  proper  protection.  I  think  we 
agree  on  that. 

Gerard:  What  about  the  evidence  of  meteorites  with  living  things 
in  them;  is  that  vaUd  or  invalid? 

Gaffron:  Not  quite  living  things.  There  are  meteorites  that  con- 
tain up  to  24  per  cent  carbon;  and  this  carbon  is  neither  methane 
nor  a  simple  hydrocarbon,  but  rather  complex  organic  material  con- 
taining nitrogen.  According  to  Edward  Anders,  at  the  Fermi  Institute, 
it  is  24  per  cent  carbon,  8  per  cent  hydrogen,  4  per  cent  nitrogen,  8.8 
per  cent  sulfur,  and  6  per  cent  chloride;  the  rest  would  be  oxygen. 
This  points  to  a  rather  complex  organic  material,  supposedly  even 
older  than  the  crust  of  our  earth. 

Shapley:  Carbonaceous  chondrites. 

Gaffron:  Yes.  And  their  age  has  been  determined  by  radioac- 
tivity comparisons.  Some  of  the  odors  they  give  off  on  heating  have 
been  described  as  garlic-  and  cinnamon-like. 

Shapley:  If  it  smells  like  garlic,  it  is  cosmically  important.  We 
are  indebted  to  Anders  for  this  new,  accurate  chemical  analysis,  which 
sounds  very  important. 

What  about  propelled  germs?  For  instance,  how  about  sending 
rockets  to  the  moon  that  are  full  of  germs  and  causing  trouble  on 
that  body?  Gause  is  an  expert  on  this. 

Gause:  To  avoid  possible  contamination  of  the  moon  by  micro- 
organisms from  terrestrial  materials  in  moon  shots,  a  group  of  micro- 
biologists at  the  Institute  of  Microbiology  of  the  Academy  of  Science 
of  the  Soviet  Union  is  planning  a  thorough  sterilization  of  materials 
forwarded  to  the  moon. 

Shapley:  Of  course,  they  know  how  to  do  that.  So  apparently  the 
moon  is  all  right.  To  me  it  sounds  a  little  bit  ridiculous,  but  probably 

104     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

necessary,  so  that  when  we  get  to  the  moon  we  shall  find  it  unsullied. 

Arrhenius  is  one  of  the  persons  associated  with  the  idea  of  pan- 
sperms  in  early  times  when  it  was  thought  that  perhaps  life  did  not 
start  on  this  earth  but  came  in  on  meteorites  or  otherwise  from  other 
worlds.  That  theory  was  pretty  generally  dropped  when  we  learned 
about  cosmic  radiation  and  other  hazards.  It  is  highly  improbable 
that  we  have  any  living  contact  with  other  planets  around  other  stars. 

Gaffron:  Science  of  November  20  contains  a  note  by  Carl  Sagon 
on  this  subject.  He  says  that  if  spores  ever  reached  the  moon,  they 
would  have  to  be  imbedded  below  the  soil  in  order  to  survive,  or  they 
would  be  destroyed  very  quickly  by  solar  radiation. 

Darv^in:  You  could  guess  the  sort  of  speed  at  which  they  would 
hit  the  moon.  Did  he  estimate  what  the  coUision  itself  would  have  done 
to  them?  Couldn't  this  be  quite  enough  to  burn  up  anything  inside  as 
well  as  outside? 

Shapley:  Yes,  it  would.  If  anything  falls  on  the  moon,  it  is  going  to 
be  explosive  unless  it  comes  in  very  slowly;  but  if  you  are  ingenious, 
probably  you  can  slow  up  your  infected  rocket  and  come  down  on  the 
moon  without  burning  it  up. 

Gaffron:  Anders  says  that  chondrites  have  not  been  internally 
heated  above  two  hundred  degrees. 

Shapley:  Have  members  of  the  panel  further  points  to  discuss?  If 
not,  I  shall  make  a  brief  summary. 

We  started  out  by  agreemg  that  we  should  not  make  an  exhaustive 
definition  of  what  life  is,  because  we  don't  agree  on  a  definition;  but 
we  did  agree  that  after  a  thing  had  developed  a  while,  we  should  prob- 
ably all  call  it  "living."  We  pointed  out  that  Darwinian  evolution  is 
no  longer  a  theory  but  a  fact;  and  we  discussed  the  viruses.  We  pointed 
out  that  the  idea  that  life  came  from  non-living  matter  is  a  consequence 
of  our  knowledge  about  the  inorganic  world  and  the  biological  world. 

We  went  into  various  questions.  We  agreed  that  the  early  conditions 
on  the  earth  favored  an  early  accumulation  of  organic  substances. 
Were  the  first  organic  compounds  of  such  kind  that  they  could  be 
readily  transformed  into  parts  of  living  things?  Yes,  some  of  them. 
What  about  the  principles  of  replication  governing  self-regulating 
molecules?  We  discussed  that  in  a  highly  technical  way.  Our  discussion 
of  how  nucleic  acids  coat  biological  products  was  fairly  technical  bio- 

Can  life  originate  under  present  conditions  on  earth?  We  think  the 
answer  is  No.  Too  much  oxygen,  too  many  bacteria.  Can  it  occur  in 
a  test  tube?  The  decision  was  Yes.  To  do  it  completely,  however,  may 
take  longer  than  we  think. 

We  summarized  the  sources  of  energy  in  the  origin  of  life  and 

PANEL  ONE:  THE  ORIGIN  OF  LIFE     ■     105 

mentioned  gamma  radiation,  lightning,  the  heat  of  the  earth,  and 
especially  ultraviolet  light  from  the  sun. 

What  is  the  probability  of  life  on  other  planets?  I  think  we  agree 
(although  we  objected  on  some  details)  that  it  would  be  presumptuous 
of  us  to  suppose  that  the  only  life  that  exists  is  that  on  the  earth.  That 
would  be  very  improbable. 

What  about  the  possibiUty  of  transporting  germs  through  space? 
We  think  it  would  be  hard  on  them.  I  think  nobody  would  hold  that 
there  is  a  danger  of  infection  by  germs  from  other  planets,  especially 
if  these  came  here  by  natural  methods  and  were  not  propelled.  That 
led  us  then  to  the  moon  shots,  and  we  were  assured  by  Cause  that 
thorough  sterilization  was  practiced  in  the  famous  Russian  shot.  This 
is  a  quick  summary. 

Before  we  adjourn,  I  wish  to  ask  Cause,  our  distinguished  guest  and 
panelist  from  Moscow,  if  he  would  make  some  concluding  remarks. 

Cause:  Since  it  seems  to  me  that  the  discussion  we  have  just  had  on 
some  problems  of  the  origin  of  life  was  very  useful,  I  am  pleased  to 
say  that  it  had  much  in  common  with,  and  reached  almost  the  same 
conclusions  as,  an  earlier  discussion  of  the  origin  of  life,  held  in 
Moscow,  to  which  many  American  participants  were  invited.  I  hope 
this  is  the  beginning  of  many  scientific  discussions,  and  I  hope  the  co- 
operation now  developing  in  various  fields  of  science  will  contribute  to 
a  better  understanding  between  our  countries. 


Chairmen:  Sir  Julian  Huxley  and  Alfred  E.  Emerson 
Panelists:    Daniel  I.  Axelrod;  Theodosius  Dobzhansky;  E.  B.  Ford; 
Ernst  Mayr;  A.  J.  Nicholson;  Everett  C.  Olson;  C.  Ladd 
Prosser;  G.  Ledyard  Stebbins;  Sewall  Wright 


Biologists  one  hundred  years  after  Darwin  take  the  fact  of  evolution 
for  granted,  as  a  necessary  basis  for  interpreting  the  phenomena  of  life. 

Life,  to  the  biologist,  denotes  the  totality  of  self-reproducing  meta- 
bolic organizations  of  matter  and  energy  comprised  under  the  head  of 
"organisms."  The  problems  of  its  origin  from  non-living  systems  and 
of  intermediate  stages  between  living  and  non-living  have  been  dis- 
cussed by  Panel  One.  Life  first  appeared  on  this  planet  over  2,500,- 
000,000  years  ago  and  has  been  steadily  evolving  since  then. 

Evolution  is  definable  in  general  terms  as  a  one-way,  irreversible 
process  in  time,  which  during  its  course  generates  novelty,  diversity, 
and  higher  levels  of  organization.  It  operates  in  all  sectors  of  the  phe- 
nomenal universe  but  has  been  most  fully  described  and  analyzed  in 
the  biological  sector. 

Life  appears  to  depend  on  self-replicating  and  self -varying  (mutat- 
ing) organic  macromolecular  strings  of  DNA,  which  also  act  as  tem- 
plates for  the  function  of  specific  proteins,  although  RNA  molecules 
may  also  be  implicated.  In  all  organisms  except  viruses,  genetic  and 
evolutionary  "information"  is  carried  by  DNA  organized  into  chromo- 
somes in  combination  with  protein. 

Points  for  Discussion 

1.  One  major  concern  of  modem  evolutionary  biology  is  research 
on  the  mechanisms  of  evolution,  particularly  as  studied  by  experi- 
ment, in  the  field  and  in  the  laboratory. 


108     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

2.  The  production  of  genetic  variants  resulting  in  new  genotypes  is 
enormously  amplified  by  sexual  recombination.  This  consists  of  i 
an  exchange  of  material  between  homologous  gene  sets.  This  is 
perhaps  an  inherent  property  of  DNA  strings  and  certainly  must 
have  started  at  an  extremely  early  stage. 

3.  The  self-replicating  and  self-varying  properties  of  DNA  inevitably 
lead  to  natural  selection — i.e.,  the  differential  survival  and  repro- 
duction of  biological  variants.  Mutation  and  recombination  pro- 
vide the  raw  materials  for  evolutionary  change;  natural  selection 
is  the  guiding,  or  directive,  agency  in  such  change.  Other  agencies, 
such  as  random  "drift,"  will  sometimes  lead  to  non-directive 
genetic  change  in  populations,  which  may  be  combined  with  di- 
rective change. 

Modern  studies  on  the  material  basis  of  inheritance  and  on  the 
efficacy  of  natural  selection  rule  out  Lamarckian  or  vitalistic- 
orthogenetic  theories  of  evolution. 

4.  Natural  selection  as  a  mechanism  for  generating  an  extremely 
high  degree  of  improbability.  Change-inhibiting  (stabilizing)  and 
change-promoting  (novelty-producing)  forms  of  selection.  Mean- 
ing of  biological  fitness.  Selection  between  individuals  of  the 
same  sex,  within  and  between  populations,  between  species  and 
higher  taxa,  between  communities.  Selection  involving  competi- 
tion and  selection  involving  co-operation. 

5.  Biological  evolution  always  shows  a  combination  of  continuity 
and  discontinuity,  a  compromise  between  stability  and  change, 
and  an  interplay  between  randomness  and  directional  selection. 
Indeed,  all  characters  of  all  organisms  represent  compromises  be- 
tween several  biological  needs  or  values. 

6.  The  relations  of  developmental  (epigenetic)  and  physiological 
processes  to  selection  and  evolution  are  proving  to  be  very  im- 
portant: e.g.,  stabilization  (canahzation)  of  developmental  proc- 
esses, partial  simulation  of  Lamarckian  evolution  by  genetic  as- 
similation and  other  evolutionary  "feedback"  mechanisms.  The 
role  of  pedomorphism  and  recapitulation  in  evolution. 

7.  Natural  selection  may  lead  to  side  effects,  which  at  the  time  are 
of  no  adaptive  value  ("correlated  characters,"  Darwin;  "conse- 
quential characters,"  Huxley).  These  may  later  provide  the  basis 
for  adaptive  change  or  even  open  the  door  to  new  major  evolu- 
tionary advances. 

8.  The  evolution  of  sex  as  an  illustration  of  evolutionary  process: 
"Sex"  was  originally  a  mechanism  for  insuring  genetic  recombina- 
tion by  interchanging  portions  of  separate  gene  sets  and  involved 
no  distinction  between  male  and  female.  Later  came  the  differen- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     109 

tiation  of  two  sexes,  first  in  respect  of  gametes,  later  of  accessory, 
and  still  later  of  secondary  sexual  characters. 
9.  Another  major  concern  of  modem  evolutionary  biology  is  the 
study  and  analysis  of  the  course  of  biological  evolution,  as  actually 
shown  in  fossils  and  as  deducible  from  the  data  of  taxonomy, 
comparative  anatomy  and  embryology,  animal  behavior,  geo- 
graphical distribution,  and  ecology. 

10.  The  process  of  biological  evolution  involves  the  integration  of 
three  component  processes : 

a.  Diversification,  leading  to  branching  and  to  the  formation  of 
separate  and  distinguishable  species  and  higher  taxa 

b.  Transformation,  leading  to  detailed  general  adaptation,  both 
structural  and  physiological,  greater  efficiency  of  various  func- 
tions, more  advanced  and  better-integrated  organization,  in- 
cluding the  organization  of  behavior  and  emergent  mind  (to  be 
discussed  in  detail  by  Panel  Four) 

c.  Stabilization,  leading  to  the  formation  of  stabilized  patterns  of 
organization  at  all  taxonomic  levels  and  to  their  persistence 
indefinitely  or  over  long  periods. 

11.  Isolation  of  various  kinds  appears  to  be  a  prerequisite  for  all  de- 
grees of  diversification  by  branching.  Stabilization  may  be  brought 
about  by  a  number  of  factors — physiological  limitations,  high 
specialization,  etc. — superposed  on  a  successful  stabilized  pattern 
of  organization.  Long-term  stabilized  persistence  occurs  not  only 
in  reduced  and  relict  types  (e.g.,  ReptiUa;  Xiphosura),  but  in  new 
dominant  types  (e.g.,  ants,  birds).  Transformation  always  leads 
to  adaptive  or,  better,  teleonomic  results. 

12.  Evolutionary  novelty  at  all  levels  from  the  species  up  appears  to 
be  achieved  by  means  of  breakthroughs  from  one  stabilized  sys- 
tem (pattern  of  organization)  to  another.  Such  breakthroughs 
often  involve  some  degree  of  preadaptation,  the  employment  of 
pre-existing  biological  and  chemical  characters  to  produce  novel 
results.  They  are  always  unusual  events  (e.g.,  for  new  species) 
and  for  major  groups  such  as  classes  are  very  rare  (e.g.,  from 
ReptiUa  to  Aves  and  Mammalia ) . 

13.  Biologists  are  increasingly  concerned  with  the  formulation  of 
general  rules  and  the  study  of  long-term  trends  operating  in  evolu- 
tion. The  major  trends  include  those  toward  greater  size;  toward 
greater  efficiency  of  particular  functions,  such  as  digestion  or 
locomotion;  toward  higher  levels  of  organization  (greater  dif- 
ferentiation and  integration)  of  structure,  physiology,  and  be- 
havior; and  toward  the  emergence  of  more  elaborate  mental  func- 

110     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

14.  Some  of  these  trends  can  properly  be  called  progressive.  Biologi- 
cal progress  may  be  defined,  or  at  least  described,  in  terms  of  the 
upper  levels  of  "improvement"  achieved  during  evolution  in  cer- 
tain properties  of  organisms.  It  is  neither  inevitable  nor  universal. 
Regression  in  some  functions  may  accompany  advance  in  others 
(e.g.,  parasites).  In  most  groups  stabilization  appears  to  have 
set  in  well  before  the  Pliocene,  so  that  no  major  later  evolution- 
ary advance  for  them  was  possible. 

It  is  interesting  to  compare  the  criteria  of  advance  or  progress 
in  plant  and  animal  evolution. 

15.  Biological  progress  is  marked  by  the  successive  emergence  (break- 
through) of  new,  successful  ("dominant")  types.  The  rise  of  each 
new  dominant  type  alters  the  evolutionary-ecological  pattern  and 
introduces  new  factors  into  the  evolutionary  process.  The  study 
of  the  emergence  and  radiation  of  new  dominant  types  is  leading 
to  many  important  conclusions  about  the  role  of  time  in  evolu- 
tion, the  different  rates  of  evolutionary  change  in  different  groups 
and  in  different  times  during  the  rise  of  single  groups,  and  with 
different  environmental  opportunities. 

The  emergence  of  man  as  the  dominant  type  will  be  considered 
in  detail  by  Panel  Five.  Meanwhile,  it  has  altered  radically  the 
evolutionary-ecological  situation  and  has  rendered  the  emerg- 
ence of  any  other  dominant  group  impossible.  The  question 
whether  evolutionary  change  is  still  occurring,  and  by  what  meth- 
ods, will  be  left  for  Panel  Five  to  discuss. 

16.  The  last  few  decades  have  witnessed  the  growth  of  a  "synthetic" 
theory  of  evolution,  linking  the  findings  of  many  separate  disci- 
plines. These  include  genetics,  selection  theory,  paleontology,  tax- 
onomy, behavior,  embryology,  plant  and  animal  physiology, 
biochemistry,  biogeography,  and  ecology.  Though  great  progress 
has  been  made,  there  are  large  areas  in  which  new  research  and 
study  are  needed  and  will  undoubtedly  yield  fruitful  results. 

The  Discussion 

Huxley:  I  hope  I  can  be  as  good  a  chairman  as  Shapley  was  yes- 
terday. I  rather  think  not;  the  combination  of  Napoleonic  firmness 
and  humor  is  very  difficult  to  emulate. 

We  are  meeting  to  discuss  the  evolution  of  life,  yesterday's  panel 
having  discussed  its  origin.  We  have  here  a  number  of  persons  dis- 
tinguished for  work  in  various  fields  of  biological  evolution:  Axelrod, 
in  paleobotany;  Dobzhansky,  in  population  genetics  and  in  polymor- 
phism; Ford,  in  genetics  in  nature  and  in  relation  to  population;  Mayr, 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     111 

in  the  formation  of  species  in  nature;  Emerson,  in  ecology  in  nature. 
Several  of  us  are  essentially  naturalists  who  have  gone  to  the  labora- 
tory. I  have  studied  various  things  in  nature;  Nicholson  has  done  the 
same.  Olson  is  interested  in  past  nature — paleontology  and  fossils — 
and  Prosser  is  interested  in  physiological  nature;  Stebbins  is  a  botani- 
cal naturalist.  Sewall  Wright,  I  beheve,  likes  to  be  remembered  for  his 
classical  work  on  the  genetics  of  guinea  pigs,  but  the  world  will  re- 
member him  for  his  immense  contributions  to  general  genetic  and 
selection  theory. 

The  evolution  of  life  is  no  longer  a  theory;  it  is  a  fact  and  the  basis 
of  all  our  thinking.  It  seems  extraordinary  now  that  the  mere  idea 
of  transformation  caused  such  an  outcry  and  occasioned  such  distress 
to  Darwin  himself. 

We  do  not  intend  to  get  bogged  down  in  semantics  and  definitions. 
We  began  by  taking  certain  facts  for  granted,  and  therefore  we  drafted 
a  preamble,  which  I  shall  now  read  to  you.  We  say  that  life,  to  the 
biologist,  is  not  an  entity  but  denotes  the  totality  of  self-reproducing 
metabolic  organizations  of  matter  and  energy,  usually  comprised  under 
the  head  of  "organisms."  The  problems  of  its  origin  have  already  been 
discussed.  It  first  appeared  on  this  planet  about  two  and  one-half  bil- 
lion years  ago — probably  rather  more — and  has  been  steadily  evolving 
since  then. 

By  "evolution"  we  do  not  mean  any  mysterious  force.  We  mean  a 
process.  It  is  a  one-way  process  in  time,  not  irreversible  in  the  sense 
of  being  irrevocably  determined  from  within  but  in  that  it  appears  not 
to  be  actually  reversible,  as  various  chemical  reactions  are.  In  its 
course,  evolution  produces  a  large  amount  of  novelty  and  diversity 
and  also  generates  higher  levels  of  organization.  (Later  on,  we  shall 
try  to  see  whether  we  can  define  either  "higher"  or  "organization"; 
this  is  not  very  easy. )  Evolution  operates  everywhere,  in  the  whole  uni- 
verse, but  has  been  most  fully  described  and  analyzed  in  the  sector 
dealing  with  life. 

As  we  saw  yesterday,  life  appears  to  depend  on  self-replicating  and 
self -varying  (or  mutating)  organic  macromolecular  strings  of  DNA; 
and  in  all  organisms  except  a  few  viruses,  so-called  genetic  and  evolu- 
tionary "information"  is  carried  by  DNA  organized  into  chromosomes 
in  combination  with  protein.  That  is  the  physical  basis  of  evolution. 
Stebbins:  I  think  at  the  very  beginning  we  should  emphasize  the 
point  made  yesterday  that  organization  and  processes  are  as  much  a 
part  of  life  as  are  the  life-substances — the  nucleic  acids.  We  see  this, 
for  instance,  from  experiments  with  viruses,  showing  that  activities 
do  not  occur  unless  the  nucleic  acids  are  organized  with  proteins  but 
that  the  nucleic  acid  determines  what  kind  of  activity  will  take  place. 

112     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

An  analogy  with  a  corporation  might  be  made  here.  The  nucleic  acid 
is  the  head  office,  but  the  head  office  cannot  function  without  workers, 
materials,  factories,  and  so  on.  I  think  this  analogy  is  better  than  call- 
ing the  nucleic  acid  the  real  or  the  only  basis  of  life. 

Another  point  I  think  will  come  out  in  this  and  subsequent  panels 
is  one  that  Wright  has  often  emphasized:  when  we  talk  about  evolu- 
tion, we  are  talking  about  a  succession  of  higher  levels  of  organization, 
starting  with  the  chemical  and  physical  level,  going  up  through  the 
level  of  primitive  one-celled  organisms  into  the  organization  found  in 
the  muscles  and  tissues  of  a  higher  animal  and,  finally,  into  the  kinds 
of  organization  found  among  animals  in  various  sorts  of  social  sys- 
tems. Here,  I  think,  we  should  qualify  the  statement  that  evolution  is 
irreversible,  since  simpler  forms  of  organization  have  often  come  from 
more  complex  forms.  Fleas,  for  example,  evolved  from  more  com- 
plexly organized  insects;  and  many  other  examples  could  be  cited. 

Perhaps  this  is  a  good  place  to  mention  a  point  that  Huxley  raised 
in  Evolution:  The  Modem  Synthesis,  that  any  definition  of  evolu- 
tionary progress  concerns  the  fact  that,  as  a  result  of  natural  selection, 
species  with  higher  levels  of  organization  are  more  likely  to  dominate 
their  environment  than  are  species  with  simpler  levels  of  organization. 

Huxley:  Certainly,  a  particular  direction  or  trend  in  evolution  can 
be  reversed,  but  the  process  as  a  whole  appears  to  be  irreversible, 
which  is  a  different  thing. 

You  raised  a  very  interesting  point  about  increase  in  organization. 
There  has  been  an  immense  increase  in  organization,  even  in  the 
chemical  basis  of  life,  from  tiny  snippets  of  DNA  in  viruses  and  short 
strips  in  bacteria,  to  the  enormous  "tape  recordings"  in  the  chromo- 
somes of  higher  animals.  In  the  organization  of  this  coded  "informa- 
tion," the  size  of  the  codebooks  has  multiplied  from  a  little  notebook 
to  volumes  and  multivolume  encyclopedias. 

I  remember  years  ago  reading  of  a  schoolboy,  asked  to  write  an 
essay  on  evolution,  who  produced  one  immortal  sentence  for  the 
whole  of  his  essay:  "Mr.  Darwin  said  that  the  first  monkey  was  a  sort 
of  jelly."  Well,  that  is  an  abbreviated  description  of  the  course  of  evo- 
lution— not  very  complete,  but  a  gallant  attempt.  But  it  pays  no  at- 
tention to  how  evolution  happened — to  the  mechanism.  This  is  what 
we  want  to  get  at  now. 

Item  1  of  our  agenda  says  that  a  major  concern  of  modern  evolu- 
tionary biology  is  research  on  the  mechanisms  of  evolution,  particu- 
larly as  studied  by  experiment,  both  in  the  field — in  nature and  in 

the  laboratory. 

Ford:  First  of  all,  I  think  it  is  necessary  to  clear  our  minds  about 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     113 

this.  Experiment  in  the  field  includes  carefully  controlled  observa- 
tions, which  can  provide  just  as  good  scientific  data  as  experiment  in 
the  laboratory.  To  take  a  simple  instance:  in  estabUshing  a  new 
colony  of  butterflies  on  a  small  island  in  the  Isles  of  Scilly,  the  popula- 
tion was  taken  from  a  large  island,  where  its  characteristics  had  re- 
mained constant  year  after  year.  The  spot  distribution  of  the  new 
colony  gradually  changed,  but  the  population  from  which  it  was  taken 
continued  steady,  acting  as  a  control  all  the  time.  That  is  a  perfectly 
valid  control.  It  is  a  question  of  observation  rather  than  experiment, 
in  one  sense. 

I  should  like  to  raise  two  other  points.  To  study  evolution  actually 
going  on  in  the  field,  it  is  necessary  to  pick  situations  in  which  natural 
selection  is  operating  rather  powerfully,  and  those  who  have  worked 
on  evolution  taking  place  in  wild  populations  have  been  careful  to  do 

The  third  point  is  that  when  we  say  we  are  studying  evolution  in 
the  field,  we  do  not  mean  merely  the  spread  of  characters  due  to 
changes  in  the  environment  but  also  actual  changes  in  the  characters 
themselves.  Let  me  give  you  an  instance:  Black  moths  have  spread  in 
the  industrial  areas  of  Britain  within  living  memory.  To  examine  the 
rate  at  which  they  have  spread,  how  they  spread,  and  what  conditions 
make  them  do  so  is  very  important.  But  a  point  many  people  miss 
is  that,  in  spreading,  the  black  forms  themselves  have  changed  and 
evolved,  and,  by  examining  them  in  the  laboratory  and  breeding  from 
them,  one  can  demonstrate  that  evolution.  One  can  reproduce  it  ex- 
perimentally by  genetic  methods  in  the  laboratory  and  demonstrate  its 
occurrence  in  the  field. 

Huxley:  I  might  add  that  the  blackness  is  definitely  adaptive  and 
that  the  black  form  has  got  blacker.  A  beautiful  experiment  in  the 
field  is  that  of  H.  B.  D.  Kettlewell,  who  showed  that  birds  picked  off  a 
majority  of  those  moths  that  did  not  match  their  surroundings.  This 
was  an  actual  quantitative  experiment. 

Olson:  I  wonder  if  I  might  carry  this  discussion  of  experiment  a 
bit  further.  I  am,  of  course,  a  non-experimental  paleontologist  among 
geneticists.  Axelrod  and  I  are  often  at  odds  with  interpretations  of 
experiments,  since  we  derive  data  differently.  But  we  are  interested 
in  the  mechanism  of  evolution  in  two  ways.  First,  we  are  interested 
in  what  the  experimentalists  find  out  and  provide  for  our  studies.  We 
feel,  however,  that  our  scale  is  much  greater  than  theirs,  and  so  we 
sometimes  question  its  total  applicability.  Second,  since  we  work  on 
a  greater  scale,  we  think  that  we  can  see  things  that  should  be  turned 
over  to  the  experimentalists  for  study,  and  in  this  way,  by  direct  study 

114     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

of  the  fossil  record,  we  can  contribute  to  the  understanding  of  mech- 
anism. I  believe  we  can  broaden  out  further  in  this  direction  to  the 
benefit  and  understanding  of  all. 

Huxley:  I  agree.  All  progress  in  any  subject,  such  as  biology,  in- 
volves straight  description,  comparative  observation  and  analysis,  and 
experiment,  with  a  constant  interplay  between  them  all. 

Now  we  come  to  item  2 — the  production  of  genetic  variance,  which, 
of  course,  provides  the  raw  material  for  all  evolution  and  is  enor- 
mously amplified  by  sexual  recombination,  involving  an  exchange  of 
material  between  homologous  gene  sets.  This  is  perhaps  an  inherent 
property  of  strings  of  DNA  and  certainly  must  have  started  at  an  ex- 
tremely early  stage. 

I  think  Stebbins  wants  to  bring  up  James  Thurber's  famous  question. 

Stebbins:  "Is  sex  necessary?"  I  think  we  should  always  quote  from 
eminent  scientists  when  we  can.  Muller  gave  an  answer  to  this  question 
about  thirty  years  ago,  when  he  pointed  out  that  a  continual  shuffling 
of  genes,  which  results  from  sexual  recombination,  is  necessary  to  gen- 
erate the  large  number  of  gene  combinations  needed  to  produce  a 
new  adaptation.  We  can  also  answer  Darwin's  question:  Why  do 
flowers  make  so  many  efforts  to  insure  or  enforce  cross-fertilization? 
The  selective  value  of  cross-fertilization  is  the  generation  of  new  gene 
combinations,  since  we  now  know  that  adaptiveness  depends  not  just 
on  one  or  two  genes  but  on  an  adaptive  complex  of  many  genes. 

Wright:  I  should  like  to  give  an  estimate  here,  bringing  out  the 
extent  to  which  recombination  amplifies  the  variability  due  to  muta- 
tion. With  only  twelve  loci  and  four  alleles  (ten  compounds)  in  each, 
there  is  the  potentiality  for  10^^  or  a  million  million  different  geno- 
types. One  hundred  loci  with  four  alleles  each  is  still  a  very  modest 
number,  considering  that  mutations  have  been  described  at  some  five 
hundred  loci  in  the  fly  Drosophila  melanogaster  and  that  some  twenty 
afleles  have  been  found  at  one  of  these  loci.  The  three  hundred  muta- 
tions in  this  case  imply  the  potentiality  for  10^''°  different  genotypes. 
It  has  been  estimated  that  there  are  less  than  10^°  elementary  particles 
in  the  universe  out  to  the  distance  made  visible  by  the  Palomar  tele- 
scope. The  number  of  potentiaHties — not,  of  course,  actualities — from 
one  hundred  loci,  four  alleles  each,  is  thus  that  of  the  number  of  ele- 
mentary particles  in  10-°  such  universes. 

Huxley:  For  many  years  biologists  often  said  or  implied  that  mu- 
tation was  the  source  of  all  evolutionary  change.  It  is  the  original 
basis,  the  raw  material  out  of  which  the  larger  bricks  are  made;  but  in 
the  last  twenty  years  we  have  seen  that  recombination  of  genes  and 
alleles  is  equally  important,  in  a  sense  even  more  so,  and  just  as  essen- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     115 

tial.  And  it  is  amazing  how  many  of  these  possibilities  can  be  reaUzed 
even  in  one  population. 

Dobzhansky:  Again  we  come  back  to  the  problem  of  sex.  Steb- 
bins  asked:  Is  sex  necessary?  My  answer  would  be  that  it  is  at  least 
desirable.  Sexual  recombination  of  gene  stores  in  natural  populations 
produces  a  really  tremendous  amount  of  genetic  variance,  an  amount 
much  greater  than  we  dared  to  suppose  even  a  few  years  ago.  I  think 
one  may  be  justified  in  making  the  rather  extreme  statement  that,  at 
least  in  sexually  reproducing  higher  organisms — taking  Drosophila  to 
be  a  higher  organism — suppression  of  the  mutation  process,  if  this 
were  possible,  would  probably  have  little  effect  on  the  evolutionary 
plasticity  of  the  population  for  some  time  to  come. 

Emerson:  I  should  like  to  add  one  point  about  the  evolution  of 
sex  mechanisms.  Most  of  our  theory  of  evolution  and  most  of  our  data 
are  based  on  the  analysis  of  individual  organisms.  Many  years  ago — as 
early  as  1912,  I  believe — Huxley  wrote  a  book  about  the  individual; 
and  still  most  of  our  biological  information  is  based  on  the  individual. 
These  data  on  sex  recombination  mean  that,  besides  the  individual,  we 
are  all  included  in  higher-level  organizations  composed  of  relations  be- 
tween individuals.  Sexual  recombination  and  its  importance  in  evolu- 
tion necessitate  an  elementary  population  structure,  so  that  higher 
levels  of  organization  involve  supra-individual  systems. 

Huxley:  Yes;  and  those  are  acted  upon  by  selection.  Stebbins' 
earlier  point  that  DNA  can  do  nothing  unless  it  is  part  of  a  system 
with  proteins  is,  in  a  way,  obvious — so  obvious  that  it  is  often  neg- 
lected. In  the  same  way,  an  individual  organism  can't  do  anything 
unless  it  is  in  an  environment  in  a  systematic  relation  with  other  or- 

We  say  in  point  2  of  the  agenda  that  sexual  recombination  must 
have  started  at  an  extremely  early  stage.  Is  anybody  willing  to  say  how 
early?  Did  it  exist  right  from  the  beginning,  or  how  soon  did  it  ap- 

Stebbins:  In  my  pubHshed  paper  I  agree  with  Ellsworth  Dougherty, 
one  of  my  colleagues  from  Berkeley,  that  sex,  or  at  least  genetic 
recombination,  started  with  life  itself.  There  is  a  question  whether  the 
term  "sex"  should  be  used  for  the  types  of  genetic  recombination  oc- 
curring in  viruses  and  bacteria;  and  the  term  "parasexual  phenomena" 
has  been  used  for  recombination  in  those  organisms.  When  we  realize 
that  these  parasexual  phenomena  occur  not  only  in  viruses  but  in  vari- 
ous kinds  of  bacteria,  the  old  idea  that  recombination  did  not  appear 
until  after  we  had  a  full-fledged  nucleus  with  its  complement  of  elabo- 
rately constructed  chromosomes,  as  well  as  the  various  cytoplasmic 
structures,  must  be  abandoned.  One  very  important  point  here  is  this: 

116     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

if  we  say  that  genetic  recombination  is  necessary  to  generate  new 
adaptive  systems  and  then  say  that  such  highly  adaptive  and  complex 
systems  as  the  cell  of  an  amoeba,  or  a  euglena,  with  its  nucleus,  chloro- 
plasts,  eyespots,  flagella,  etc.,  evolved  without  the  aid  of  genetic  re- 
combination, we  are  contradicting  ourselves.  Even  though  we  don't 
know  that  genetic  recombination  exists  in  these  one-celled  organisms, 
we  must  postulate  its  existence  at  the  time  they  evolved. 

Huxley:  That  is  a  very  important  point.  It  seems  increasingly 
probable  that  DNA  is  so  important  because,  as  Muller  said  yesterday, 
it  has  the  two  properties  of  self-replication  and  mutation  or  self -varia- 
tion. It  also  seems  probable  that,  from  the  outset,  DNA  had  this  abil- 
ity to  recombine  bits  of  itself  with  other  homologous  pieces.  If  so,  then 
this  basis  for  more  rapid  evolution  was  present  right  from  the  be- 

This  leads  to  point  3 :  the  self -replicating  and  self -varying  properties 
of  DNA  inevitably  lead  to  natural  selection.  As  Darwin  himself  said, 
"natural  selection"  is  a  metaphorical  term  and  thus  has  led  to  mis- 
apprehension. No  conscious  action  is  involved  in  natural  selection: 
it  is  the  name  we  give  to  the  results  of  the  differential  survival  and 
reproduction  of  biological  variants.  Mutation  and  recombination  pro- 
vide the  raw  materials  for  evolutionary  change.  Natural  selection  is 
the  guiding  or  directive  agency  in  that  change.  Other  agencies,  such 
as  so-called  random  "drift,"  sometimes  lead  to  non-directive  genetic 
change  in  populations,  which  may,  however,  be  combined  with  di- 
rective change. 

Wright:  As  Huxley  brought  out,  the  essence  of  Darwin's  theory 
of  natural  selection  is  that  the  interplay  of  random  variation  and  selec- 
tion leads  step  by  step,  through  thousands  of  little  steps,  to  results  that 
are  utterly  unthinkable  as  occurring  at  a  single  step.  Modern  genetics 
fully  supports  this  concept.  I  do  not  think  any  prominent  geneticist 
now  would  question  the  essential  validity  of  Darwin's  conception  of 
natural  selection  as  the  guiding  principle  in  evolution.  There  is,  how- 
ever, a  difference  of  opinion  about  the  roles  played  by  random  varia- 
bility at  different  levels.  The  genetic  mechanism,  as  we  know  it  now, 
provides  variability  at  two  general  levels:  (1)  that  of  mutation, 
whether  genie  or  chromosomal,  and  (2)  that  of  recombination. 

There  is,  first,  what  seems  to  me  the  oversimplified  view  that  muta- 
tions, classifiable  as  favorable  or  unfavorable,  provide  directly  the 
random  variabiHty  that  is  sifted  by  natural  selection.  In  a  population 
that  has  been  living  under  a  constant  set  of  conditions  for  a  long  time, 
all  the  recurrent  mutations  would  have  been  tested;  fixed  if  favorable 
and  kept  at  very  low  frequencies  if  unfavorable.  It  is  highly  unlikely 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     117 

that  a  novel  mutation  will  be  favorable.  Under  these  conditions,  the 
members  of  a  species  would  be  homozygous  in  the  same  sense  in 
nearly  all  loci,  and  recombination  would  play  no  appreciable  role  in 
evolution.  The  possibility  for  evolution  is  thus  decidedly  limited. 

The  situation  is  more  favorable  in  a  species  living  in  an  environ- 
ment that  changes  systematically  from  time  to  time.  Recurrent  muta- 
tions that  have  been  unfavorable  may  give  better  adaptation  to  new 
conditions  than  did  the  old-type  genes  and  may  displace  these  fairly 
rapidly.  An  example  is  the  beautiful  case  described  by  Ford,  in  which 
the  environment  changes  from  one  in  which  light-colored  moths  are 
protectively  colored  to  one  of  soot-covered  trees,  in  which  light-colored 
moths  are  very  conspicuous  to  birds.  Mutations  that  darken  the  color 
approach  fixation  with  great  rapidity.  Again,  the  recent  rapid  evolu- 
tion of  cyanide  resistance  by  scale  insects,  of  DDT  resistance  by  flies, 
and  of  penicillin  resistance  by  bacteria  under  intensive  efforts  at  con- 
trol by  these  agents  are  examples  that  are  beautiful  only  from  the 
evolutionary  standpoint.  The  hypothesis  that  evolution  proceeds  from 
the  direct  selection  of  favorable  mutations  is  thus  a  possible  view,  but 
only  in  conjunction  with  systematic  changes  in  the  environment.  The 
process  is  somewhat  like  a  treadmill,  with  the  species  continually  try- 
ing to  keep  up  with  a  continually  deteriorating  environment. 

It  seems  unlikely,  however,  that  the  enormous  amplification  of  vari- 
ability by  recombination  plays  no  role.  It  has  been  abundantly  demon- 
strated that  the  effect  of  a  combination  of  genes  is,  in  general,  very 
far  from  being  merely  the  sum  of  the  effects  assignable  to  the  com- 
ponent genes.  This  is  especially  the  case  with  selective  value  itself  as 
a  character,  since  the  optimum  grade  of  any  quantitatively  varying 
character,  even  one  that  is  evolving  rapidly,  usually  differs  httle  from 
the  mean  at  any  given  time,  with  the  consequence  that  each  gene  with 
a  positive  effect  tends  to  be  favorable  in  combinations  below  the  mean 
and  unfavorable  in  those  above.  In  a  population  that  is  breeding  at 
random,  favorable  combinations  of  genes  are  broken  up  in  the  forma- 
tion of  the  germ  cells.  There  is  delay  in  the  case  of  linked  genes,  but 
this  is  only  momentary  in  terms  of  geological  time.  Selection  can  thus 
operate  effectively  in  this  case  only  on  the  net  effects  of  the  separate 
genes,  not  on  the  genotypes. 

There  seem  to  be  only  two  general  ways  in  which  selection  may  be 
based  effectively  in  the  genotype  as  a  whole.  One  of  these  is  by  the 
interpolation  of  many  generations  of  asexual  reproduction  between 
crosses,  during  which  selection  is  between  clones.  Unfortunately,  the 
most  advanced  organisms — most  insects  and  practically  all  verte- 
brates— do  not  make  use  of  this.  Among  these,  the  only  possibility 
seems  to  be  through  the  more  or  less  random  differentiation  of  local 

118     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

populations  and  selection  among  these  by  means  of  differential  ex- 
pansion and  contraction.  If  the  species  is  divided  into  a  great  many 
largely,  but  not  completely,  isolated  small  communities,  these  will 
inevitably  drift  apart  in  genetic  constitution,  partly  under  the  in- 
fluence of  differences  in  local  conditions  and  partly  from  random 
processes.  Such  random  changes  occur  whenever  a  population  passes 
through  a  bottleneck  of  small  size.  Moreover,  fluctuations  from  the 
prevailing  trend  of  selection  and  of  immigration  have  effects  that  may 
be  considered  random.  Under  the  above  conditions,  each  community 
will  carry  many  slightly  different  alleles  at  each  locus,  and  these  will 
be  in  different  frequencies  from  those  of  other  communities. 

One  consequence  of  selection  toward  intermediate  values  of  quanti- 
tatively varying  characters  in  conjunction  with  pleiotropy  (multiple 
effects  of  each  gene)  is  that  there  are  a  vast  number  of  selective  peaks 
at  different  levels  of  selective  value.  This  presents  a  serious  obstacle 
to  selection  under  random  mating,  since  the  stronger  the  selection,  the 
more  firmly  the  population  is  bound  to  a  single  selective  peak — not,  in 
general,  a  high  one.  If,  however,  the  species  is  subdivided  as  described, 
Siose  local  communities  that  have  more  or  less  accidentally  attained 
relatively  high  selective  peaks  behave  as  population  founts,  and  those 
that  are  held  at  relatively  low  selective  peaks  behave  as  population 
sinks.  There  is  continual  outflowing  from  the  former  and  the  forma- 
tion of  new  founts  by  interaction.  This  process  can  go  on  indefinitely, 
though  largely  invisible  over  considerable  periods  of  time,  since  it 
applies  directly  only  to  alleles  that  differ  only  slightly  in  effect  (modi- 
fiers, isoalleles).  It  should  be  added,  however,  that  random  differentia- 
tion of  local  populations  with  respect  to  modifiers  may  prepare  the 
ground  somewhere  for  acceptance  of  a  major  mutation  that  has  been 
kept  at  low  frequency  by  unfavorable  side  effects. 

From  a  broader  standpoint,  we  may,  I  think,  say  that  the  most 
favorable  condition  for  evolution,  including  cultural  as  well  as  or- 
ganic, is  a  suitable  balance  between  inbreeding,  whether  in  the  literal 
genetic  or  the  figurative  cultural  sense,  and  cross-breeding,  again 
whether  in  the  literal  genetic  sense  or  the  figurative  sense  of  cultural 
diffusion  and  interaction. 

Huxley:  The  environment  of  any  species  is  by  no  means  uniform. 
It  often  varies  seasonally,  periodically,  and  so  on,  and  this  may  result 
in  polymorphism,  based  on  balanced  systems  of  genes  or  alleles  in  the 
population,  one  adapted  to  one  set  of  environmental  conditions  and 
the  other  to  another.  Dobzhansky  has  done  very  interesting  work 
on  this. 

Dobzhansky:  That  refers  to  a  point  I  brought  up  earlier:  the  exist- 
ence in  natural  populations  of  a  tremendous  store  of  potential  vari- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     119 

ability  that  can  be  released  by  recombination,  by  the  Mendelian 
process  that  is  going  on  all  the  time. 

Mayr:  Our  opinions  have  been  so  harmonious  up  to  now  that  I 
should  like  to  introduce  a  slightly  dissonant  note.  Wright  said  that 
mutations  are  practically  always  injurious.  This  is  certainly  true  of 
the  majority  of  the  mutations  studied  by  the  geneticist.  But  the  geneti- 
cist does  not  work  with  a  random  sample  of  mutations;  he  picks  out 
those  that  are  easy  to  work  with  because  they  are  very  conspicuous, 
and  these  are  nearly  always  injurious.  There  is  a  great  deal  of  evidence 
— and  mounting  evidence  from  the  study  of  isoalleles — that  many 
other  mutations  have  exceedingly  slight  effects  and  are  not  neces- 
sarily harmful.  They  may  be  injurious  or  not,  depending  on  the  total 
genetic  background  of  that  species  or  population  or  individual  and 
on  the  physical  environment.  If  one  thinks  in  terms  of  the  DNA  code, 
one  can  easily  imagine  that  some  shifts  in  the  code  will  have  such  a 
slight  effect  on  the  chemical  it  produces  that  it  will  not  be  disruptive. 
So  I  think  that  there  is  a  good  possibility  that  a  considerable  percentage 
of  mutations  are  not  necessarily  injurious. 

Huxley:  Isn't  it  possible  that  a  great  number  of  small  mutations 
gives  the  gene  complex  an  additional  elasticity — a  kind  of  capacity  for 
regulating  itself? 

Mayr:  Very  definitely,  I  should  say.  The  fact  that,  when  a  major 
mutation  occurs,  its  phenotypic  expression  can  very  rapidly  be  modi- 
fied by  selection  indicates  that  all  sorts  of  alleles  having  this  general 
effect  are  present  in  the  gene  pool. 

Huxley:  Ford  just  now  gave  a  very  good  example  of  how  a  muta- 
tion that  is  bad  in  some  circumstances  may  be  good  in  others.  The 
small  mutations  that  made  black  moths  blacker  would  originally  have 
been  deleterious,  but,  once  there  was  a  black  form  under  positive 
selective  pressure,  they  were  advantageous. 

Item  4  includes  a  very  important  point:  the  distinction  between 
change-inhibiting  (stabilizing)  and  change-promoting  (novelty-pro- 
ducing) forms  of  selection.  Of  course,  sex  is  involved  in  this  and,  in 
non-sexual  phases  or  forms,  variance  will  be  much  reduced. 

Emerson:  I  think  there  is  a  balance  between  the  replicative  func- 
tion of  genetic  material  and  its  function  of  change;  and  this  conserva- 
tive aspect  produces  a  certain  degree  of  stabilization.  It  is  very  im- 
portant for  the  organism  to  hold  on  to  the  adaptive  adjustments  it 
already  has.  Sometimes  this  stabilization  operates  for  a  very  long 
time,  with  a  high  order  of  genetic  identity  involved.  Also,  as  the 
organism  becomes  reasonably  well  adjusted  to  an  environment,  selec- 
tion operates  against  change  rather  than  for  it.  In  some  instances,  the 
sexual  system  has  been  eliminated  by  the  organism  because  it  pro- 

120     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

duced  possibly  too  much  variation,  which  was  too  likely  to  be  dele- 
terious in  an  organism  in  a  stable  environment  with  a  high  order  of 
adaptation;  so  that  stability  runs  along  with  change  in  the  process  of 
evolution  and  produces  this  constancy  that  we  see  along  with  evolu- 
tionary change. 

Huxley:  I  am  afraid  that  we  must  pass  to  the  next  item  of  point  4: 
selection  between  individuals  of  the  same  sex  and  within  and  between 

Nicholson:  The  distinction  has  already  been  made  between  stabil- 
izing and  change-promoting  forms  of  selection.  Another  division, 
which  seems  to  me  very  meaningful,  can  be  made  following  the  the- 
ories of  natural  selection  put  forward  by  Wallace  and  Darwin,  which, 
in  fact,  were  not  the  same. 

The  simplest  form  of  selection,  as  I  see  it,  is  that  presented  by 
Wallace.  The  mechanism  he  described  is  just  this:  Animals  or  plants 
in  any  environment  are  subject  to  considerable  environmental  change; 
and  during  periods  of  great  adversity  those  individuals  that  were  not 
good  enough  to  survive  would  be  destroyed.  This  process  continuing, 
more  and  more  individuals  of  the  temporarily  unfit  type  would  be 
destroyed.  With  the  return  of  more  favorable  conditions,  only  the  best 
forms  would  have  survived  and  would  exist  under  those  favorable  con- 
ditions. Thus  the  mechanism  here  is  the  direct  elimination  of  the  unfit 
— or,  if  you  like,  of  the  temporarily  unfit.  This  is  quite  distinct  from 
Darwin's  theory,  in  which  such  elimination  is  an  indirect  process. 

Darwin's  theory  involves  the  idea  of  competition.  Darwin  held  that 
the  fitter  forms  displace  the  others — the  other  forms  that  were  previ- 
ously perfectly  fit — simply  because  they  have  a  greater  chance  of 
survival.  As  populations  are  necessarily  limited,  an  increase  in  one 
component  of  the  population  must  necessarily  lead  to  a  decrease  in 
the  other  component.  This  is  not  an  elimination  of  the  unfit.  It  is  a 
displacement  of  normally  completely  fit  individuals,  which  are  unfit 
only  in  the  sense  that  they  cannot  compete  successfully  with  their 
more  effective  fellows.  So  there  is  a  distinction  between  the  type  of 
natural  selection  due  to  the  direct  elimination  of  the  unfit  and  that  due 
to  indirect  elimination  of  individuals  that  are  not  quite  so  fit  as  the 
new  form. 

Later  I  shall  have  more  to  say  about  the  efficiency  of  the  Darwinian 
type  of  selection,  which  is  much  greater  than  the  Wallacian  type.  But 
there  is  a  further  point  I  should  like  to  make  now.  For  evolutionary 
advance  two  things  are  required.  One,  of  course,  is  the  appearance 
and  the  preservation  of  forms  that  have  advantageous  properties.  The 
other,  equally  important,  is  the  disappearance  of  the  preceding  form. 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     121 

which  was  perfectly  fit  to  go  on  living  in  the  environment  before  the 
new  form  appeared.  This  displacement,  which  in  Darwinian  selection 
IS  caused  by  competition,  frees  the  gene  pool  from  the  influence  of 
these  less  well  fitted  or  less  potent  forms,  and  the  properties  of  the 
population  as  a  whole  are  improved  as  a  result  of  this  intraspecific 
selection.  Now,  this  should  be  contrasted  with  interspecific  selection. 
Competing  species  have  no  common  gene  pool.  The  displacement 
takes  place  in  exactly  the  same  way— individuals  of  fitter  species  dis- 
place individuals  of  inferior  species,  and  do  so  completely,  just  as 
happens  within  a  species. 

Huxley:  Sometimes — not  always. 

Nicholson:  Not  always,  it  is  true;  but  my  point  is  that  the  disap- 
pearance of  the  less  fit  form— the  inferior  species— has  not  in  any 
way  improved  the  properties  of  the  residual  population— the  superior 
species — or  contributed  to  its  advancement.  Evolutionary  advance- 
ment, then,  requires  intraspecific  selection  or  intragroup  selection 
when  the  group  of  interbreeding  individuals  is  smaller  than  the  species. 

Interspecific  selection  is  a  process  that  removes  the  dross  of  the 
less  fit  forms  of  life  from  the  earth— but  does  not  contribute  to  bio- 
logical advancement.  That  is  left  to  selection  within  populations, 
which  have  a  very  powerful  mechanism  for  producing  such  advance- 

Dobzhansky:  I  should  like  to  emphasize,  not  how  much  we  know 
about  selection,  but  how  little  we  know.  There  is  a  great  temptation, 
especially  when  one  reaches  a  certain  age — which  I  have  reached,  as 
have  most  of  my  colleagues  on  this  panel— to  speak  about  things  as 
really  known  and  to  represent  them  as  cut  and  dried.  Perhaps  it  is 
better  sometimes  to  talk  about  how  little  we  know,  how  much  we 
must  learn,  and  how  necessary  more  research  is.  We  have  not  properly 
understood  what  biological  fitness  really  is.  For  example,  a  form  may 
be  fit  in  the  short  run,  but  this  may  injure  its  fitness  in  the  long  run,  or 
vice  versa. 

I  think  it  is  very  useful  to  stress  that  here,  as  well  as  in  many  other 
areas,  more  research  is  what  we  really  need.  We  need  more  work,  and 
work  on  a  broader  front.  We  really  need  to  know  far  more  than  we 

Ford:  What  I  am  going  to  say  refers  back  to  what  Mayr  was  saying 
just  now  of  the  way  in  which  mutations  having  quite  small  effects  may 
really  be  useful.  That  is  exactly  why  one  can  use  polygenic  characters 
(that  is,  characters  controlled  by  genes  having  small  cumulative  ef- 
fects) for  the  study  of  evolutionary  changes  going  on  in  the  field,  espe- 
cially in  isolation.  With  polygenic  characters,  one  has  a  large  amount 
of  continuous  variation  under  genetic  control.  Further and  this  is 

122     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Mayr's  point — the  changes  due  to  the  substitutions  at  each  locus  are 
so  small  that  the  organism  can  be  adjusted  by  selection  operating  on 
its  total  gene  complex  in  relation  to  each  of  them.  Consequently,  you 
can  get  a  harmonious  adjustment,  in  contrast  with  the  very  big  changes 
due  to  mutation  of  the  major  genes,  which  can  infrequently  be  advan- 
tageous because  they  produce  such  large  effects  that  the  organism 
rarely  has  a  chance  to  adjust  to  them.  It  is  possible  to  get  these  adjust- 
ments very  much  as  Mayr  said. 

Axelrod:  I  fully  agree  about  harmonious  adjustment.  But  if  we 
follow  climatic  trends  through  long  intervals  of  time,  it  seems  to  me  we 
can  see  the  operation  of  another  kind  of  selection,  which  we  haven't 
talked  about  very  much.  In  paleobotany  we  call  this  "climatic  selec- 
tion." With  a  gradual  change  in  climate,  certain  types,  which  earlier 
were  wholly  fitted  or  harmonious,  gradually  disappear  while  others 
survive  because  they  are  harmonious  in  more  than  one  environment. 
An  exceptionally  good  example  of  this  is  found  in  the  Mediterranean 
regions  of  dry  climate,  where  widespread  extinctions,  local  at  least, 
occurred  as  summer-rain  types  disappeared  but  drought-resistant 
types  persisted.  Yet  earlier  they  were  all  together.  Here,  selection  was 
operating  on  a  physiological  background. 

Wright:  I  should  like  to  comment  on  a  point  Nicholson  raised 
about  the  difference  between  selection  by  the  environment  and  selec- 
tion by  social  interaction  within  the  species.  Under  environmental 
selection,  one  may  equate  the  terms  "reproductive  value"  and  "selec- 
tive value."  This  is  not  so  with  selection  that  depends  on  social  inter- 
actions. A  type  that  flourishes  at  the  direct  expense  of  others  of  its 
own  species  may  continue  to  displace  the  latter,  while  lowering  the 
reproductive  rate  of  the  species  perhaps  to  the  point  of  collapse.  The 
closer  the  approach  of  the  species  to  the  peak  in  selective  value,  the 
lower  its  reproductive  value.  Fitness  becomes  a  highly  ambiguous 

What  is  it  that  prevents  species  from  succumbing  to  social  parasit- 
ism? There  seems  to  be  no  solution  in  random-breeding  populations,  j 
In  a  population  divided  into  many  local  communities,  which  are  ' 
largely,  but  not  completely,  isolated,  intergroup  selection  among  these, 
governed  to  a  large  extent  by  their  relative  reproductive  values,  may 
overcome  selection  pressures  toward  social  parasitism. 

Huxley:  I  don't  think  we  need  do  more  than  read  point  5,  because  i 
it  is  really  a  statement  of  fact,  whose  impHcations  can  be  brought  out 
later  in  the  discussion.  It  reads  as  follows:  "Biological  evolution  al- 
ways shows  a  combination  of  continuity  and  discontinuity,  a  compro- 
mise between  stability  and  change,  and  an  interplay  between  ran- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     123 

domness  and  directional  selection."  Indeed,  I  think  we  can  say  that 
all  characters  of  all  organisms  represent  compromises  between  several 
biological  needs  or  values. 

I  should  like  to  go  on  now  to  point  6:  the  relations  of  develop- 
mental— or,  as  we  now  call  them,  "epigenetic" — and  physiological 
processes  to  selection  and  evolution. 

Prosser:  We  have  been  using  the  word  "fitness"  in  a  very  general 
and  perhaps  loose  sense.  I  should  like  to  put  in  a  plea  for  an  analysis 
of  fitness  in  terms  of  functional  adaptiveness  to  environmental  stresses. 
No  organisms  live  in  a  strictly  constant  environment.  It  is  the  essence 
of  living  things  that  they  show  remarkable  homeostasis  or  capacity  for 
self-maintenance  in  fluctuating  environments  and  even  in  the  face  of 
deleterious  environmental  factors.  In  general,  developing  organisms 
are  less  capable  of  withstanding  environmental  variations  than  are  ma- 
ture organisms.  This  homeostatic  capacity  varies  considerably,  of 
course,  with  the  kind  of  organism. 

In  considering  physiological  factors  in  respect  to  natural  selection, 
one  has  to  recognize  two  times  at  which  the  environment  may  affect 
the  individual  organism.  First,  direct  responses  to  environmental 
changes  permit  a  certain  amount  of  homeostasis.  Organisms  may  re- 
spond in  either  of  two  ways.  Either  they  may  change  with  the  en- 
vironment and  become  equivalent  to  it  in  a  given  character,  such  as 
the  temperature  of  cold-blooded  animals;  or  they  may  regulate  their 
internal  state  in  response  to  a  change  in  the  environment.  In  general, 
organisms  that  change  with  the  environment — which  we  call  "con- 
formers" — tolerate  a  wider  range  of  internal  state  and  a  narrower 
range  of  environmental  state  than  do  organisms  that  are  regulators. 
Regulators  tolerate  a  wider  range  of  the  environment  but  relatively 
narrow  ranges  of  internal  variation.  Both  of  these  are  short-term  pat- 
terns of  response  from  which  the  organism  returns  directly  to  its  orig- 
inal state  when  the  environment  also  reverts. 

Then,  in  the  changes  that  occur  over  a  longer  period  of  time — 
larger  fractions  of  the  lifetime  of  an  individual  organism — one  often 
finds  compensatory  responses  that  tend  toward  stabilization.  In  this 
state  of  acclimatization  the  organism  has  changed,  since  if  the  environ- 
ment now  returns  to  its  original  condition,  the  organism  overshoots 
or  goes  beyond  its  initial  state. 

We  must  recognize  that  natural  selection  is  operating  on  the  capac- 
ity for  such  changes.  Natural  selection  is  homeostatis,  operating  over 
many  generations.  Natural  selection  does  not  select  a  particular  re- 
sponse; rather,  it  selects  the  capacity  for  a  given  response. 

Nature  seems  to  operate  with  very  large  safety  factors.  In  most  of 

124     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  long-term  compensatory  responses,  as  well  as  in  the  direct  reac- 
tions, one  finds  multiple  pathways  for  solving  a  given  functional 
problem.  Usually  there  are  feedback  mechanisms  of  considerable 
variety,  which  tend  toward  stabilization.  I  think  if  we  analyze  the 
sum  total  of  homeostatic  responses  of  organisms  in  terms  of  natural 
selection,  we  shall  go  a  long  way  toward  getting  at  the  physiological 
basis  of  fitness. 

Huxley:  This  leads  straight  to  the  canalization  of  the  processes  of 
development  from  the  egg  to  the  differentiated  adult.  Again,  there 
tend  to  be  many  kinds  of  feedback  arrangements,  canalizing  deviations 
back  into  the  normal  channel.  Developing  from  an  egg  to  a  human 
being  or  an  ant  or  a  frog  or  anything  else  is  a  terribly  complicated 
process.  These  very  elaborate  processes  have  to  be  blueprinted,  laid 
down,  and  selectively  canaUzed.  As  a  result,  the  course  of  develop- 
ment that  has  been  stabilized  over  millions  of  years  influences  the 
future  course  of  evolution.  Each  individual  more  or  less  has  to  go 
along  that  path.  This  is  the  opposite  of  Haeckel's  original  "law  of 
recapitulation,"  Phylogeny  does  not  determine  ontogeny;  put  rather 
crudely,  ontogeny  determines  phylogeny — at  least,  it  helps  to  deter- 
mine it. 

Mayr:  The  important  point  to  stress  here  is  that  selection  operates 
on  the  phenotype,  the  final  product  of  the  interaction  of  all  the  differ- 
ent genes.  If  the  phenotype  is  particularly  valuable  and  if  a  new  mu- 
tation occurs  that — although  otherwise  adding  to  fitness — interferes 
with  the  development  of  this  phenotype,  compensatory  genes  will  be 
selected  which  restore  the  original  phenotype. 

The  same  is  true  of  interactions  with  the  environment.  Certain  en- 
vironmental shocks  may  affect  the  organism  during  development.  The  , 
total  interacting  gene  complement  must  be  prepared  to  produce  the  | 
chemical  substances  needed  to  buffer  the  environmental  shock,  so 
that  development  returns  to  its  original  pathway  and  the  "normal" 
phenotype  is  produced  (canaHzation) . 

I  should  like  to  say  just  one  word  about  fitness.  This  term,  unfortu- 
nately, is  used  with  several  meanings.  When  biologists  speak  of  fitness, 
they  do  not  mean  it  in  the  sense  of  an  athlete  who  is  fit.  The  strictly 
operational  definition  of  biological  fitness  given  by  R.  A.  Fisher  is 
the  best  I  know.  This  states  that  if  a  gene  maintains  the  same  fre- 
quency in  the  population  from  one  generation  to  the  next,  it  has  a 
fitness  of  one.  If  a  gene,  owing  to  its  superior  survival  ability,  in-  j 
creases  its  share  in  the  gene  pool  of  the  species,  its  fitness  is  above  one.  ' 
When  geneticists  and  evolutionists  speak  of  fitness,  they  have  this 
meaning  primarily  in  mind. 

Emerson:  I  should  like  to  point  out  that  we  are  really  saying  that 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     125 

all  organisms  and  all  organismic  systems  have  a  time  dimension.  But 
possibly  we  have  not  emphasized  as  much  as  we  should  that  this  is 
not  a  linear  time  dimension  from  a  cause  to  an  effect  but  that  the 
effects  influence  repeated  causes.  These  are  the  feedback  systems. 

Not  only  does  feedback  operate  in  this  physiological  system  that 
Prosser  was  just  describing,  but  it  operates  back  to  the  genetic  system 
likewise — from  the  adult  to  the  embryo  and  developmental  stages,  as 
well  as  the  opposite.  Thus  we  have  an  evolutionary  "feedback"  (I 
don't  like  that  word  particularly,  but  then  I  know  of  nothing  better). 
Waddington  has  written  very  illuminatingly  on  this  topic,  showing  this 
feedback  in  evolutionary  time.  He  demonstrated  it  experimentally, 
and  it  is  also  obvious  to  us  in  terms  of  the  course  of  evolution.  This, 
to  me,  is  very  important.  It  also  gives  us  the  basis  for  considering 
adaptation  to  future  conditions,  especially  if  those  conditions  are  re- 
peated. The  cause,  for  instance,  can  be  influenced  by  the  effect,  pro- 
vided that  the  cause  is  repeated.  Not  only  that;  we  get  the  opportunity 
to  be  adapted  to  a  unique  future  condition.  I  shall  not  elaborate  on 
that  at  the  present  time. 

Huxley:  That  leads  on  to  point  7:  Natural  selection  may  lead  to 
side  effects,  which  at  the  time  are  of  no  adaptive  value  but  may  later 
provide  the  basis  for  adaptive  changes:  they  are  preadaptive  or  poten- 
tially preadaptive. 

Olson:  We  are  just  about  winding  up  the  discussion  of  selection 
at  this  point.  We  have  considered  natural  selection  and  random  drift. 
It  seems  to  me  important  to  emphasize  another  aspect  supplying  ma- 
terial for  selection,  which  fits  here  because  it  produces  side  effects. 
This  is  the  general  area  in  which  we  can  include  events  that  are  ran- 
dom with  respect  to  the  adaptive  value  of  the  genotype  of  populations. 
I  refer  to  the  simple  matter  of  accident — for  example,  the  effects  of  a 
forest  fire  on  a  population,  or  perhaps  something  more  general,  where, 
in  terms  of  population  structure  and  thd  environment  of  existence 
taken  together,  any  adaptive  genotypic  superiority  that  might  exist 
is  little,  or  not  at  all,  expressed  in  the  succeeding  populations.  This 
sort  of  thing,  it  seems  to  me,  is  a  necessary  factor  in  interpreting  very 
rapid  shifts  in  evolution  and  the  apparently  odd  directions  (from  the 
standpoint  of  adaptation)  that  are  taken  in  evolution.  This  sort  of 
side  effect,  the  impact  of  accidents  and  other  factors  producing  non- 
adaptive  shifts,  may  cause  very  rapid  changes  and  give  completely 
new  shape  to  the  course  of  evolution.  I  think  this  is  an  extremely  im- 
portant evolutionary  factor. 

Mayr:  I  should  like  to  emphasize  a  point  taken  for  granted  by 
geneticists  but  not  fully  understood  by  some  evolutionists.  In  the  early 

126     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

days  of  genetics  it  was  believed  that  every  gene  controls  one  character 
and  that  every  character  is  produced  by  one  specific  gene.  Particu- 
larly in  higher  organisms,  however,  genes  do  nothing  of  the  kind. 
The  gene  produces  some  kind  of  gene  product — an  enzyme  or  some 
other  and  still  unknown  kind  of  protein — which  is  fed  into  the  total 
developmental  stream  and  becomes  part  of  the  total  developmental 
system  of  the  organism.  It  has  been  said — although  this  is  surely  an 
exaggeration — that  every  gene  contributes  to  every  character  of  the 
organism  and  that  every  character  of  the  organism  is  affected  by  every 
gene.  Let  us  keep  in  mind  that  even  a  gene  responsible  for  such  an  un- 
important thing  as,  let  us  say,  a  slight  aspect  of  pigment  pattern  of  the 
skin  may  simultaneously  control  longevity,  aggressiveness,  heat  toler- 
ance— all  sorts  of  characters.  This  is  one  of  the  most  important  find- 
ings of  physiological  genetics  and  has  very  far-reaching  effects  on  the 
interpretation  of  evolution.  Therefore,  let  us  never  go  back  to  the  old 
concept  that  a  gene  determines  a  character. 

Huxley:  Point  8  deals  with  the  evolution  of  sex  as  an  illustration 
of  evolutionary  process. 

Stebbins:  I  think  we  can  focus  several  remarks  made  during  the 
last  few  sections  onto  the  evolution  of  sex.  In  the  first  place,  we  can 
ask  this  question:  Why  is  it  that  in  higher  organisms  sex  seems  so 
essential  and  is  never  lost,  whereas  such  organisms  as  fungi  and  bac- 
teria get  along  for  very  long  periods  without  sex  or  with  only  a  very 
small  amount  of  genetic  recombination? 

For  an  answer  we  can  go  back  to  the  point  about  compromise  in 
section  5  of  the  agenda.  Some  years  ago,  Kenneth  Mather  pointed 
out  that  the  genetic  recombination  system  must  establish  a  compro- 
mise between  two  conflicting  needs.  One  need  is  genetic  insurance — 
generating  sexual  combinations  that  at  present  may  have  no  selective 
value  but  may  become  essential  in  the  future  when  the  environment 
changes.  The  other  need  is  to  generate  the  largest  possible  number 
of  individuals  that  are  fit  at  the  present  time.  And  the  balance — the 
compromise  between  these  needs — is  likely  to  be  very  different  in  dif- 
ferent organisms. 

Take,  for  instance,  a  bacterial  colony  in  which  millions  of  individ- 
uals are  produced  in  one  day,  with  the  generation  time  a  tiny  fraction 
of  what  it  is  in  man.  Here  new  genotypes  can  perhaps  be  generated 
in  large  part  by  occasional  mutations  or  even  successions  of  mutations, 
as  in  the  adaptation  of  bacteria  to  streptomycin.  In  this  case,  sex  is 
perhaps  of  less  selective  value  than  in  the  slowly  reproducing  higher 
animals.  And  in  plants  the  larger,  more  slowly  reproducing  perennials 
and  woody  plants  usually  have  a  high  degree  of  cross-fertilization  and 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     127 

genetic  recombination  through  a  high  chromosome  number,  whereas 
the  weeds — the  pioneers — usually  have  self-fertilization  and  some- 
times asexual  reproduction.  This  is  associated  with  the  fact  that  a 
plant  in  a  vacant  and  relatively  uniform  habitat  is  most  successful  if 
it  generates  a  large  number  of  offspring  similar  to  itself. 

This  seems  related  to  Dobzhansky's  remark  that  in  the  future  we 
shall  have  to  think  in  somewhat  different  terms  to  find  out  more  about 
evolution.  And  in  Evolution:  The  Modern  Synthesis  Huxley  suggested 
that  we  must  think  more  and  more  of  comparative  evolution  and  com- 
parative fitness  of  different  organisms  rather  than  in  absolute  terms. 

Huxley:  That  is  a  very  exciting  statement  about  sex.  Of  course, 
there  are  a  great  many  other  exciting  statements  to  make  about  sex 
— the  way  in  which  its  existence  has  led  on  to  such  consequential  char- 
acters as  sexual  display  and  sexual  selection,  for  instance — but  we 
really  do  not  have  the  time  to  deal  with  them. 

We  are  now  on  the  second  part  of  this  enormous  subject.  We  have 
been  discussing  mechanism,  and  now  we  shall  discuss  the  course,  the 
process,  of  evolution  as  shown  in  fossils  and  as  deducible  from  animal 
structure  and  behavior. 

The  single  process  of  biological  evolution  involves  at  all  times  the 
integration  of  three  component  subprocesses:  first,  diversification, 
leading  to  branching  and  the  formation  of  separate  species  and  higher 
groups;  second,  transformation,  leading  to  detailed  and  general  adapta- 
tion, the  greater  efficiency  of  various  functions,  more  advanced  and 
better-integrated  organization,  including  the  organization  of  behavior 
and  mind;  third,  stabilization,  leading  to  the  formation  of  stabilized 
patterns  of  organization  at  all  levels  and  to  their  often  indefinite  per- 

Axelrod:  In  the  whole  sequence  of  change  seen  in  the  geological 
record,  both  animal  and  plant,  these  three  phases — diversification, 
then  transformation,  and,  finally,  stabilization — regularly  appear.  This 
is  especially  well  shown  by  the  various  major  groups  of  vascular  plants, 
for  which  we  now  have  records  going  back  into  the  Cambrian.  Each 
successive  group  shows  the  major  phases  in  change. 

We  do  not  know  enough  about  change,  and  we  need  more  fossils 
so  that  we  can  analyze  and  interpret  trends;  but  I  think  most  of  us 
are  in  full  agreement  about  the  gradual  change  in  time:  increasing 
diversification;  then,  gradual  transformation,  so  new  categories  grad- 
ually arise,  first  at  smaller  and  then  at  higher  levels;  and  these  then 
are  stabilized  and  persist  for  long  periods  of  time.  Every  major  plant 
phylum  shown  in  the  fossil  record  is  still  with  us.  The  older  phyla,  of 
course,  are  relict  and  not  very  conspicuous.  Those  that  are  dominant 

128     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

— the  flowering  plants — cover  the  earth  today  in  a  diversity  far  greater 
than  the  older  groups. 

Huxley:  This  is  the  point:  that  the  paleontologist  has  to  depend 
on  fossils.  I  am  glad  to  hear  that  there  are  now  more  plant  fossils  than 
there  used  to  be  and  that  these  go  back  to  the  Cambrian.  Zoologists, 
on  the  whole,  are  more  fortunate,  and  perhaps  Olson  could  tell  us 
whether  these  processes  can  be  followed  in  more  detail  in  the  animal 

Olson:  I  think  it  is  important  to  recognize  that,  although  the  fossil 
record  itself  is  very  incomplete,  we  can  at  one  place  or  another  follow 
the  operation  through  time  of  almost  any  process  we  wish.  For  ex- 
ample, if  we  are  interested  in  following  species  diversification  in  time, 
we  have  to  deal  in  very  small  units.  This  can  be  best  done  in  the 
Tertiary,  with  mammals,  in  the  manner  of  Simpson  and  many  others. 
If  we  are  interested  in  higher  levels,  we  can  take  series  of  fossils,  such 
as  that  from  the  reptiles  to  the  mammals,  and  follow  a  transition  from 
one  class  of  vertebrates  to  another.  This  is  so  beautifully  drawn  that 
at  the  present  moment  no  one  can  adequately  define  a  mammal  on 
the  basis  of  the  fossil  record  of  the  shift  from  reptiles.  We  are  in  the 
center  of  gradual  but  profound  change,  and  taxonomy  is  completely 
confused.  In  one  way,  this  is  an  ideal  state.  We  really  know  something 
if  there  is  confusion  in  classification  at  such  a  level,  because  we  have 
crossed  the  boundary  so  perfectly  that  it  is  not  possible  to  judge  in 
which  major  group  particular  animals  belong.  I  speak  here  of  verte- 
brates; there  is  much  to  be  done  with  invertebrates  as  well;  but,  so 
far  as  fossils  are  concerned,  these  have  been  neglected  at  this  confer- 
ence. I 

Just  one  more  word:  when  we  consider  the  fossil  record  and  evolu- 1 
tion,  it  is  extremely  important  to  realize  that  the  record  is  highly 
biased,  as  Simpson  emphasizes  in  one  of  the  Celebration  papers.  The 
early  record  is  very  scant.  Only  as  we  come  to  modern  times  do  we 
really  see  a  broad  record  in  a  variety  of  environmental  classifications. 
Earlier,  it  was  ocean  margins  on  both  the  land  and  sea  sides  of  the 

Huxley:  Transitions  from  one  major  type  of  organization  to  an- 
other are  always  gradual  and  always  involve  a  great  number  of  small 
steps.  G.  R.  de  Beer  has  pointed  this  out  in  the  evolution  of  the  birds; 
certain  features  of  Archaeopteryx  were  reptilian,  and  others  were  def- 
initely avian.  I  know  it  will  be  emphasized  in  the  panel  tomorrow  that 
the  origin  of  man  does  not  involve  a  single  "missing  link"  but,  rather, 
many  little  links.  This  is  a  very  important  point. 

Now  we  come  to  the  statement  that  transformation  leads  to  adapta- 
tion and  improvement.  Personally,  I  like  the  word  "improvement." 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     129 

Darwin  used  it  characteristically  in  the  Origin  of  Species  when  he  said, 
"Natural  selection  will  inevitably  lead  to  the  improvement  of  most 
species  of  organisms  in  relation  to  their  conditions  of  life." 

Ford:  One  of  the  very  important  things  we  have  to  recognize  and 
study  is  the  way  in  which  selection  can  adjust  organisms  to  the  effect 
of  single  genes.  For  example,  in  butterfly  mimicry,  two  distinct  forms 
may  be  controlled  by  a  single  major  gene,  and  yet  it  has  been  possible 
for  selection  to  modify  the  gene  complex,  adjusting  and  gradually 
evolving  the  mimetic  characters  within  the  effect  of  the  major  gene. 
A  combination  of  genetics  and  the  study  of  organisms  in  their  en- 
vironments can  show  very  well  the  breakdown  of  those  adjustments. 
It  is  very  important  to  note  that,  although  characters  may  be  con- 
trolled by  major  genes,  they  can  be  slowly  and  gradually  evolved. 

Huxley:  And,  as  a  result,  there  can  be  quite  incredibly  accurate 
imitations  of  a  nauseous  form  by  an  unprotected  form;  and  when  there 
is  no  need  for  such  close  protection — when  the  nauseous  form  is  not 
present,  for  instance — the  exactitude  fades.  Mimicry  provides  a  beau- 
tiful example  of  detailed  adaptation. 

Nicholson:  It  might  be  useful  if  I  briefly  described  some  recent 
experiments  in  which  natural  selection  took  place  before  my  eyes.  I 
did  not  set  up  the  experiments  for  the  investigation  of  natural  selec- 
tion, but  to  study  population  dynamics;  but,  fortunately,  natural  se- 
lection occurred,  and  we  have  a  detailed  record. 

I  used  the  Australian  sheep  blowfly  {Lucilia  cuprina)  in  a  series 
of  experiments.  The  populations  were  controlled  by  supplying  the 
adult  insects  with  a  small  amount  of  meat  juice  each  day.  The  flies 
had  to  compete  for  this,  and,  in  doing  so,  their  numbers  first  increased 
up  to  the  point  where  the  depletion  of  food  by  competition  between 
the  flies  prevented  most  of  them  from  laying  any  eggs.  Throughout 
each  experiment  the  number  of  offspring  equaled  the  number  of  par- 
ents, on  the  average,  in  spite  of  extreme  osciflations  in  the  size  of  such 
populations  from  some  7,000  adults  down  to  almost  nil,  in  a  regular 

When  I  made  conditions  more  adverse  in  other  cultures  governed 
in  the  same  way  by  adult  competition  for  food,  the  populations  still 
remained  in  being,  and  the  same  end  result  was  obtained:  the  number 
of  offspring  equaled  the  number  of  parents.  There  was  a  readjust- 
ment. Competition  relaxed  to  the  point  where  its  effect,  plus  the  effect 
of  the  adverse  factors,  prevented  the  production  or  survival  of  more 
mature  offspring  than  the  number  of  parents,  on  the  average. 

In  several  cultures  subjected  to  differing  degrees  of  destruction, 
each  population  fluctuated  about  different  levels,  but  the  mean  pop- 
ulation level  remained  constant  during  successive  periods  in  each  cul- 


130     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

ture.  In  certain  other  cultures,  natural  selection  of  a  very  remarkable 
kind  took  place,  which  caused  the  mean  population  levels  to  rise  pro- 

I  must  point  out  that  the  unselected  flies  were  able  to  produce  far 
more  eggs  than  were  necessary  for  survival  of  the  species  under  the 
conditions  that  were  maintained.  I  found  it  possible  to  destroy  99.6 
per  cent  of  all  immature  adults  each  day,  and  the  population  still  re- 
mained in  being.  In  spite  of  this,  selection  still  took  place  to  improve 
Qgg  production  under  the  highly  favorable  conditions  prevailing.  It 
proceeded  very  rapidly,  and  in  about  a  year  the  properties  of  the  flies 
had  improved  enormously.  An  individual  fly  in  the  population  re- 
quired for  egg  production  only  a  minute  part  of  the  amount  of  meat 
juice  needed  by  its  ancestors  at  the  beginning  of  the  experiment.  Thus 
selection  had  taken  place  to  improve  a  property  that  was  already  much 
more  than  adequate  to  cope  with  the  prevailing  conditions.  The  im- 
portant points  are  that  this  took  place  in  a  series  of  small  steps  and 
that,  although  the  mean  population  rose  progressively,  during  any 
moderate  time  interval  the  number  of  offspring  approximately  equaled 
the  number  of  parents.  Thus,  throughout  the  experiment,  competr 
tion  had  adjusted  the  population  to  the  changing  equilibrium  levels 

The  important  point  from  the  standpoint  of  natural  selection  is 
that  automatic  compensatory  reaction  adjusts  the  efl^iciency  of  selec- 
tion at  exactly  the  right  point  to  preserve  preferentially  any  better 
form  and  allow  it  to  multiply.  As  the  better  form  multiplies  and  im- 
proves the  population,  so  the  intensity  of  competition  is  increased 
above  the  level  that  the  preceding  form  could  withstand.  Consequently, 
the  previous  form,  perfectly  well  fitted,  is  displaced  by  increased  com- 
petition with  the  new  form.  This  is  the  cause  of  the  extreme  efficiency 
of  the  Darwinian  type  of  natural  selection. 

Thus  natural  selection  is  not  a  process  that  depends  on  the  appear- 
ance of  a  new  need  before  it  can  operate.  If  that  were  so,  all  organ- 
isms would  be  in  a  very  precarious  state,  because,  as  soon  as  the  new 
need  arose,  it  would  be  necessary  for  the  right  type  of  mutation  to 
appear  and  to  be  selected  swiftly.  But  with  the  type  of  reaction  I  de-  , 
scribed,  the  population  is  held  in  being,  even  though  environmental  I 
conditions  may  change  very  greatly.  It  can  still  adjust  itself  by  re- 
ducing in  density  and  thus  relaxing  the  intensity  of  competition.  It 
can  remain  stable  under  the  less  favorable  conditions  until  some  better 
form  happens  to  occur,  which  will  then  be  selected. 

Each  time  a  better  form  appears,  even  though  it  is  unnecessary 
under  the  existing  conditions,  it  will  be  selected.  Such  selection  of 
properties  better  than  are  immediately  required  provides  populations 
with  resilience — if  conditions  become  worse,  the  species  is  not  de- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     131 

pendent  for  survival  upon  the  selection  of  improved  properties  but 
can  hang  on — and  also  helps  organisms  spread  into  environments 
that  they  were  not  previously  competent  to  enter. 

Huxley:  Here  you  have  definite  improvement  in  relation  to  sev- 
eral conditions  of  life  and  also  what  one  might  call  "preadaptation." 

Nicholson:  After  this  same  experiment  had  continued  for  another 
year,  selection  led  to  the  appearance  in  the  population  of  a  number 
of  individuals  able  to  lay  eggs  without  any  meat  juice  at  all — a  re- 
quirement that  was  essential  to  the  species  earlier. 

Stebbins:  This  is  a  very  interesting  example  of  adaptation.  I  should 
like  to  describe  another  example — a  radical  transformation  that  prob- 
ably originated  through  the  establishment  of  one  gene  with  a  major 
effect  rather  than  through  a  gradual  change.  This  is  the  work  of 
Gajewski  in  Poland  on  the  genetic  difference  between  the  common 
purple  columbine  and  a  small  white-flowered  Asiatic  form  that  lacks 
the  usual  columbine  spur.  Now  the  purple  columbine  is  pollinated 
by  bumblebees  that  have  a  proboscis  just  the  length  of  the  spur.  The 
spurless  white  Asiatic  columbine  is  pollinated  by  flies  and  probably 
by  other  indiscriminate  insects.  Gajewski  found  that  the  presence 
or  absence  of  spur  is  determined  by  a  single  gene.  So  we  can  recon- 
struct a  change  in  adaptation,  triggered  off  by  the  appearance  of  the 
gene  that  adapted  the  flower  to  the  proboscis  of  the  bee,  with  color 
and  other  factors  then  coming  in  to  complete  the  adaptation. 

Mayr:  The  origin  of  new  species  or  the  multipHcation  of  species 
is  the  first  major  step  in  evolutionary  diversification.  I  shall  not  define 
species,  but  I  should  like  to  point  out  their  significance.  We  have  been 
talking  about  recombinations  within  a  gene  pool  and  the  tremendous 
genetic  diversity  within  the  total  gene  pool  of  a  species,  so  that  no 
two  individuals  are  ever  quite  the  same.  However,  there  is  a  limit 
to  the  degree  of  difference  among  the  genes  that  can  be  combined 
and  still  lead  to  perfectly  viable  individuals.  The  fact  that  organic 
nature  is  organized  in  the  form  of  species  is  an  insurance  or  protec- 
tion of  gene  pools  against  their  being  polluted  by  unsuitable  genes 
from  other  pools. 

Now  how  does  a  new  species  originate?  The  early  naturalists  dis- 
covered long  ago  that  the  geographic  ranges  of  closely  related  spe- 
cies were  often  adjacent,  and  those  of  incipient  species  apparently 
always  so.  Darwin's  observation  of  this  phenomenon  on  the  Gala- 
pagos Islands  gave  him  the  whole  idea  of  the  origin  of  species; 
but  it  took  eighty  years  or  so  before  this  empirical  generalization  of 
the  naturalists  found  an  ultimate  explanation  by  the  population  geneti- 
cist. Up  to  that  time,  various  alternate  ideas  of  speciation  were  in- 
voked, such  as  that  individuals  within  a  population  became  genetically 

132     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

different  as  a  consequence  of  ecological  specialization.  An  alternate 
mode  of  multiplication  of  species,  which  is  particularly  common  to 
plants,  is  through  polyploidy.  But  in  animals  the  essential  process  is 
geographic  speciation,  for  which  the  explanation  was  found  by  the 
population  geneticists. 

Huxley:  If  Edgar  Anderson  were  on  this  panel,  he  would  object 
to  your  saying  "pollution"  of  gene  pools  by  foreign  genes.  But  such 
introgression  is  a  rather  rare  phenomenon  in  animals,  and,  from  the 
point  of  view  of  most  animal  species,  it  is  pollution. 

Dobzhansky:  I  have  very  little  to  add  to  what  Mayr  said,  except 
to  stress  again  that  in  this  field  we  have  so  much  to  learn.  Just  what 
process  brings  about  the  formation  of  the  isolating  mechanisms  that 
separate  species?  We  do  not  know  this  as  well  as  we  should.  There 
are  two  hypotheses.  One  of  them  is  that  the  isolating  mechanisms  are 
simply  by-products  of  the  accumulation  of  genetic  differences.  If  you 
become  different,  you  become  isolated.  The  other  hypothesis  is  not 
necessarily  contradictory  but,  rather,  complementary.  It  asserts  that 
reproductive  isolation  of  species  in  nature  is  a  product  of  natural  se- 
lection. Such  isolation  is  built  up  by  natural  selection,  which  tends 
to  minimize  the  losses  to  the  populations  of  both  species  that  would 
arise  from  gene  exchange  and  recombination  of  species — foreign  genes. 

Another  question  is  the  extent  of  gene  exchange  between  popula- 
tions that  is  most  favorable  to  the  species.  Recombination  has  to  be 
limited  to  a  certain  value — a  certain  frequency — which  is  optimal; 
and  the  optimal  amounts  differ  in  different  circumstances.  We  shall 
have  to  find  out  by  experiments,  as  well  as  by  observations,  to  what 
extent  these  two  mechanisms — and  perhaps  others  that  are  still  undis- 
covered— operate  in  nature. 

Prosser:  I  shall  emphasize  another  aspect  of  isolation.  I  do  not 
believe  spatial  separation  is  enough  per  se  to  cause  speciation,  and  I 
feel  that  there  is  a  great  need  for  identification  of  the  isolating  mecha- 
nisms which  do  separate  natural  populations.  Sometimes  these  also 
operate  for  populations  that  are  not  at  the  specific  level. 

I  feel  that  taxonomists  have  often  been  so  busy  describing  species 
in  terms  of  key  characters  that  they  have  paid  too  little  attention  to 
the  actual  mechanisms  of  isolation.  There  are  two  categories  of  such 

The  primary  adaptations  are  those  associated  with  physical  factors 
in  the  environment;  if  two  populations  are  separated,  let  us  say  in  a 
geographic  cline,  they  are  usually  limited  by  different  environmental 
factors.  The  identification  of  such  isolating  mechanisms  can  best  be 
made  by  applying  stress  tests  to  populations  at  the  limits  of  the  range. 

The  other  type  of  isolating  mechanism,  which  we  might  call  sec- 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     -     133 

ondary,  primarily  concerns  reproductive  separation.  These  mecha- 
nisms include  many  of  the  behavioral  variations  in  animals.  Fre- 
quently, when  climatic  or  physical  changes  cause  the  ranges  of  formerly 
separated  populations  to  overlap,  the  populations  are  then  separated 
by  reproductive  behavior  rather  than  by  environmental  factors.  I 
think  we  have  to  separate  these  two  kinds  of  isolation. 

The  study  of  physiological  factors  in  isolation  must  proceed  by 
three  steps.  The  first  is  the  description  of  physiological  variation  in 
natural  populations.  The  second  is  to  ascertain  by  acchmatization  or 
transplantation  which  variations  are  determined  genetically  and  which 
environmentally.  Finally,  the  cellular  mechanisms  underlying  the  vari- 
ations require  elucidation. 

Stebbins:  I  should  like  to  disagree  publicly  with  my  good  friend 
Dobzhansky,  with  whom  I  have  disagreed  in  private  more  than  once 
about  the  mechanisms  of  speciation.  I  do  not  think  we  have  to  con- 
fine ourselves  to  the  two  alternatives  he  mentioned. 

Dobzhansky:  I  expressly  said  they  were  not  alternatives. 

Stebbins:  Well,  to  the  two  hypotheses,  then.  I  should  like  to  raise 
another  possibility,  that  reproductive  isolation  originates  as  the  by- 
product of  certain  specific  types  of  natural  selection  and  comes  about 
because  of  the  nature  of  those  types  of  natural  selection. 

The  kind  of  hybrid  behavior  we  find  in  animals  is,  in  general,  rather 
different  from  that  found  in  plant  hybrids.  That  is,  animal  hybrids 
tend  to  be  inviable  in  early  stages  of  development  or  to  be  sterile  be- 
cause of  abortion  of  the  gonads  or  mechanical  disturbances  of  the 
meiotic  spindle  and  similar  disturbances  of  meiosis;  sterihty  due  to 
the  disharmony  of  the  haploid  products  of  meiosis  is  relatively  un- 
common. In  plant  hybrids,  both  effects  occur;  but  much  more  often 
the  main  bottleneck — the  main  limiting  factor — is  the  result  of  meiosis, 
the  presence  of  disharmonious  gene  combinations  due  to  the  effects 
of  genetic  segregation,  which  can  be  rectified  by  polyploidy.  This  is 
probably  because  the  epigenetic  sequence  of  developmental  processes 
is  much  more  complex  in  animals,  and  therefore  selection  for  a  dif- 
ferent sequence  of  processes  can  much  more  quickly  lead  to  dishar- 
mony; just  as  with  two  well-adjusted  Yale  locks  of  different  types 
it  is  almost  impossible  to  make  one  key  open  the  other  lock,  but  with 
an  old-fashioned  door  lock  it  is  not  at  all  hard  to  change  the  key  to 
get  in  someone  else's  room. 

Huxley:  The  point  is  that  organisms  are  excessively  variable,  and 
we  expect  a  great  deal  of  diversity. 

Mayr:  As  far  as  I  am  concerned,  this  is  not  a  third  alternative. 
Stebbins  says  that  the  incidental  changes  occurring  during  isolation, 
which  will  lead  to  eventual  genetic  isolation  and  to  completed  specia- 

134     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

tion,  are  different  in  plants  from  those  in  animals.  I  entirely  agree  with 
him  about  this  difference.  But  this  can  be  included  in  the  first  hy- 
pothesis Dobzhansky  mentioned,  that  is,  that  genetic  changes  are  a 
by-product  of  the  general  adaptive  changes  of  isolated  populations. 

Dobzhansky:  I  agree  with  both  Mayr  and  Stebbins. 

Huxley:  That's  bad — we're  all  agreeing.  However,  I  think  every- 
body does  agree  that  some  degree  of  isolation  is  a  prerequisite  for 
the  changes  that  later  may  lead  to  speciation. 

I  think  Prosser  was  a  little  hard  on  the  taxonomists  when  he  said 
they  were  so  busy  describing  new  species  that  they  have  no  time  to 
think  about  their  origin.  Some  taxonomists  certainly  have  a  hard  time. 
I  think  I  am  right  in  saying  that  10,000  new  species  of  insects  alone 
have  to  be  described  every  year;  and  that  is  quite  a  job. 

Prosser:  In  defense  of  my  statement,  I  should  like  to  see  applied 
function  test  as  one  criterion  of  speciation. 

Huxley:  You  would  then  have  to  increase  the  number  of  taxono- 
mists about  tenfold  and  give  them  enough  laboratory  space  and  equip- 

Emerson:  As  a  systematist,  I  should  like  to  have  the  physiologist 
pay  much  more  attention  to  taxonomic  differences  and  evolution  in 
physiological  investigations. 

Huxley:  Good.  That's  the  advantage  of  getting  people  together. 
Now  we  know  what  we  want. 

Olson:  I  think  peculiar  isolation  was  vaguely  mentioned — that  is, 
temporal  isolation  with  modification  of  time  of  the  sort  Axelrod  men- 
tioned earlier,  never  a  split  or  two  separate  populations.  It  is  going 
through  time  and  shifting;. 

Huxley:  You  get  both  kinds. 

Olson  :  I  think  this  is  extremely  important. 

Huxley:  I  think  everybody  agrees  that  types,  once  they  are  suc- 
cessful, do  tend  to  persist  for  a  very  long  time.  They  usually  are  re- 
duced in  number  by  the  emergence  of  new  improved  types,  but  they 
may  persist  indefinitely.  Stabilized  systems — stable  patterns  of  genetic 
or  physiological  organization — are  rather  difficult  to  break  out  of. ' 
Advance  of  any  sort  has  to  be  achieved  by  rather  improbable  break- 
throughs from  one  stabilized  pattern  to  another.  This  applies  just  as 
much  on  the  species  level  as  it  does  on  higher  levels. 

Mayr:  The  point  I  should  like  to  make  here  is  that  species  have  J 
another  significance.  Every  single  species  is  a  new  experiment  in  fill-  " 
ing  some  sort  of  niche  in  nature,  because  no  two  species  are  identical 
in  their  ecological  requirements.  The  majority  of  these  different  species 
are  merely  variations  on  a  theme,  but  occasionally  a  species  will  make 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     135 

a  major  "discovery" — for  instance,  the  first  fish  that  got  out  onto 
land  "discovered"  the  land  niche  and  gave  rise  to  the  terrestrial  verte- 
brates and  the  first  pseudosuchian  reptile  that  "discovered"  the  air 
niche  and  gave  rise  to  the  birds.  So  the  species  level  is  tremendously 
important  because  only  one  out  of  thousands  or  tens  of  thousands 
or  hundreds  of  thousands  of  species  is  able  to  make  this  breakthrough 
into  a  totally  new  type  of  ecological  zone. 

Now  the  question  is:  What  permits  a  species  to  do  this?  Evolution 
is  exceedingly  opportunistic,  and  the  first  step  can  be  taken  only  if 
that  particular  organism  is  preadapted  for  this  change  of  its  adaptive 
or  ecological  zone.  By  "preadaptation"  we  mean  that  the  structures 
and  physiological  mechanisms  of  a  species  enable  it  to  make  the 
switch.  The  fishes  that  gave  rise  to  terrestrial  vertebrates  had  fins  that 
were  already  like  legs.  They  had  an  internal  skeleton  that  prevented 
their  collapsing — as  a  jellyfish  would — when  they  emerged  onto  land. 
They  had  a  respiratory  system  that  permitted  them  to  get  oxygen  di- 
rectly from  the  air.  They  had  any  number  of  such  preadaptations.  And 
this,  I  think,  is  the  important  point:  if  an  organ  has  the  potentiality 
of  two  different  functions,  the  addition  of  the  second  function  to  the 
primary  one  opens  up  possibilities  for  such  a  breakthrough. 

Huxley:  These  fish  were  also  preadapted  by  fiving  in  an  extremely 
unpleasant  ecological  niche  of  little  pools  liable  to  dry  up,  so  that  they 
had  to  get  out  onto  land  and  walk  about  from  one  pond  to  another  if 
they  were  to  survive. 

Olson:  Yes.  The  preadaptation  was  a  matter  of  adaptation,  which, 
as  Mayr  said,  was  converted  to  another  area,  inefficiently  at  first  but 
later  becoming  effective. 

A  point  I  should  like  to  raise — and  a  lot  of  people  disagree  with  me 
about  this — is  that  I  can't  conceive  of  taking,  as  a  point  of  break- 
through (I  don't  like  that  word,  but  I  shall  use  it  because  it  is  here),  a 
single  species,  such  as  the  one  that  eventually  gave  rise  to  the  mammals 
from  the  therapsid  reptiles.  Many  species  in  many  lines  were  making 
similar  shifts. 

Huxley:  But  only  one  got  through. 

Olson:  No.  Many  or  several  got  through,  I  think. 

Mayr:  I  think  this  is  a  technical  point.  The  various  therapsid  rep- 
tiles that  finally  reached  the  mammalian  level  or  zone  go  back  to  one 

Olson:  Where? 

Mayr:  I  don't  care  where,  but — 

Olson:  Back  in  the  amphibians  or  somewhere. 

Mayr:  Mammals,  I  think,  are  somewhat  unfortunate  as  an  example. 
Birds  show  the  one-point  breakthrough  more  clearly. 

136     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Olson:  From  your  point,  yes.  I'll  give  you  the  birds. 

Mayr:  I  think  in  many  instances  the  major  breakthrough  was  made 
in  only  one  line.  In  other  cases,  like  the  mammals,  it  was  made  in 
several  lines.  This  is  a  technical  point.  What  is  more  important  is  the 
preadaptation  of  an  individual  organ.  People  have  always  wondered 
how  fishes  got  lungs,  for  instance,  or  how  any  novel  organ,  like  insect 
wings,  could  have  been  acquired. 

I  think  the  development  of  lungs  is  now  pretty  well  understood. 
Certain  fishes  during  the  Devonian  period  lived  in  stagnant,  fresh- 
water swamps,  where  oxygen  was  so  scant  that  respiration  through 
the  skin  and  the  gills  no  longer  provided  the  necessary  oxygen.  Ap- 
parently they  came  to  the  surface  and  gulped  air,  from  which  the 
membranes  of  the  digestive  tract  took  up  oxygen.  When  that  stage 
was  reached,  there  was  a  tremendous  selection  pressure  for  developing 
diverticles  and  enlarging  this  respiratory  surface  of  the  digestive  tract. 
As  soon  as  the  necessary  gene  combination  providing  such  diverticles 
appeared,  selection  pressure  could  push  this  tendency  further  and 
further,  and  this  led  quite  naturally  to  the  development  of  lungs. 

Any  major  evolutionary  novelty  that  has  been  examined  in  detail 
shows  that  the  potential  acquisition  of  a  new  function  by  an  existing 
structure  was  already  present,  and,  as  soon  as  conditions  favored 
structural  modification,  selection  could  take  over. 

Emerson:  My  point  is  a  facetious  one,  but  it  seems  apropos  of 
Mayr's  description  of  the  evolution  of  the  lung.  I  once  asked  a  profes- 
sor of  biology  from  the  University  of  Tennessee  how  he  handled  the 
problem  of  evolution.  He  said  it  was  very  simple,  very  simple  indeed. 
"I  will  tell  my  class  that  if  this  were  any  other  state  than  the  State  of 
Tennessee,  we  would  speak  of  the  evolution  of  the  lung;  but  inasmuch 
as  we  are  in  Tennessee,  we  will  simply  call  it  a  diverticulum  of  the 
alimentary  tract." 

Axelrod:  Novelty  in  evolution  does  not  necessarily  involve  a  major 
change  in  form.  For  example,  I  should  call  the  desert  and  tundra 
plants  evolutionary  novelties.  These,  I  think,  have  evolved  chiefly  by 
internal  physiological  change.  Granting  that  some  change  of  form  has 
accompanied  the  shift,  the  form  changed  as  far  back  as  the  Miocene 
period,  or  earlier,  yet  the  physiological  change  accompanied  the  post- 
Pleistocene  appearance  of  these  ecological  zones. 

Huxley:  We  are  not  necessarily  talking  of  form  but  of  any  sort 
of  novelty. 

Axelrod:  The  point  is  that  these  are  wholly  new  regional  environ- 
ments that  have  been  invaded  recently,  since  the  Pliocene. 

Huxley:  And  where  novel  organisms  have  had  to  evolve;  yes. 

Prosser:  One  comment  about  novelty.  In  biochemical  evolution 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     137 

we  see  a  rather  remarkable  parallelism  with  the  evolution  of  morpho- 
logic novelties  described  by  Mayr.  As  we  said  yesterday,  the  basic 
classes  of  organic  compounds — in  fact,  all  the  classes  of  biochemicals 
— were  established  before  there  were  organisms  that  we  would  call 
such  today.  In  the  process  of  biochemical  evolution,  novelty  has  in- 
volved the  use  of  previously  evolved  classes  of  compounds  for  new 
functions.  Frequently  this  has  been  accompanied  by  minor  changes 
in  the  molecules,  additions  of  side  chains  here  or  there;  but  the  basic 
compounds  have  not  changed  even  with  marked  change  in  function. 

In  the  area  of  animal  nutrition,  for  instance,  the  so-called  B  vita- 
mins function  as  coenzymes  and  are  quite  universal  in  all  living  or- 
ganisms— certainly  in  all  aerobic  cells.  A  number  of  organisms,  espe- 
cially animals,  have  lost  the  capacity  to  synthesize  many  of  these.  Here 
evolution  involved  loss  of  function  and  reUance  on  the  environment 
to  supply  the  needed  compounds.  Similarly,  the  amino  acids,  which 
are  essential  structural  components  of  protoplasm,  are  substantially 
the  same  from  Protozoa  to  man.  Here  we  have  a  pattern  in  which  no 
novelty  has  been  introduced.  Finally,  the  so-called  fat-soluble  vitamins 
are  modifications  of  classes  of  compounds  that  have  other  functions  in 
earlier  forms.  In  the  vertebrates,  these  have  been  modified  consider- 
ably, and  they  are  required  as  vitamins  only  by  the  vertebrates.  So  I 
think  we  have  a  distinct  parallelism  in  biochemical  evolution  with 
the  development  of  morphological  novelty. 

Huxley:  And  then,  of  course,  there  is  the  case  where  the  same  old 
compounds  are  used  in  different  ways.  I  gather  that  either  urea  or  uric 
acid  can  be  excreted,  but  birds  excrete  only  uric  acid  because,  if  they 
excreted  urea,  they  could  not  have  inclosed  (cleidoic)  eggs. 

Prosser:  It  is  interesting  that  the  form  of  nitrogen  excretion  is 
first  correlated  with  ecological  stresses;  it  is  a  very  labile  character. 
However,  the  genetic  limits  within  which  it  can  vary  may  be  very 
different  for  different  groups  of  animals. 

Stebbins:  This  brings  us  back  to  something  said  at  the  very  be- 
ginning of  this  panel.  When  existing  chemical  substances  are  used  for 
new  functions,  we  have  evolution  primarily  in  terms  of  reorganization. 

Prosser:  And  loss  of  function. 

Huxley:  I  think  we  should  move  on  to  point  13:  whether  we  can 
detect  any  general  rules  in  long-term  trends — one  of  the  most  im- 
portant problems  in  the  study  of  evolution. 

Mayr:  Studies  of  the  geographic  variation  of  species  and  of  the 
populations  of  a  species  throughout  its  entire  range  have  shown  that 
a  species  is  not  the  uniform  typological  entity  that  the  early  naturalists 
thought.  Every  population  of  a  species  is  adapted  to  its  particular  en- 

138     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

vironment,  as  Prosser  mentioned  a  few  minutes  ago.  And  as  the  en- 
vironment shows  regularities,  becoming  increasingly  drier  toward  the 
interior  of  a  desert,  let  us  say,  or  increasingly  colder  toward  the  north, 
so  does  the  variation  of  species  living  in  such  regions.  Populations  of 
many  species  are  adjusted  to  these  climatic  gradients  and  form  what 
Huxley  has  called  "clines" — that  is,  character  gradients.  These  regu- 
larities have  been  formulated  in  a  number  of  ecogeographic  rules — 
that  the  size  of  warm-blooded  vertebrates  tends  to  increase  in  cooler 
climates,  for  instance,  or  that  in  more  humid  areas  both  vertebrates 
and  insects  become  darker,  more  heavily  pigmented  with  melanin. 

But  in  recent  years  the  analysis  of  these  rules  has  shown  that,  as 
we  stressed  earher,  all  phenotypes  are  compromises  among  a  variety 
of  conflicting  selection  pressures.  As  a  result,  there  are  many  so-called 
exceptions  to  such  rules,  where  a  new  selection  pressure  takes  over 
and  adjusts  an  organism  or  a  local  population  in  a  different  way. 

Huxley:  I  doubt  that  anybody  would  disagree  with  that  general 
conclusion.  CUnes  constitute  a  very  good  example  of  the  way  selection 
produces  adaptive  results  related  to  graded  characters  in  the  environ- 
ment. But  much  more  important  and  exciting,  of  course,  is  the  ques- 
tion Can  one  detect  any  long-term  trends  at  work  in  the  huge  time 
scale  of  evolution? 

Axelrod:  In  the  plant  world,  these  trends  developed  through  time 
as  each  successive  group  was  replaced  by  another:  first,  the  early 
simple  psilophytes;  then  the  association  of  lycopods  and  seed  ferns; 
then  conifers  and  cycadophytes;  and,  finally,  flowering  plants.  We 
find  in  this  trend  a  gradual  diversification  and  ramification,  but  each 
successive  group  appears  to  have  been  able  to  cope  with  the  oppor- 
tunities offered  it  by  both  the  physical  and  the  biological  world. 

Huxley:  What  were  the  trends? 

Axelrod:  The  trend  has  been  toward  increasing  diversification  in 
meeting  the  environment  with  many  kinds  of  adaptive  types. 

Huxley:  Apart  from  diversification,  what  long-term,  over-all 
trends — increase  in  complexity,  increase  in  reproductive  efficiency, 
and  so  on? 

Olson:  I  think  that,  by  "diversification,"  Axelrod  was  referring  to 
functional  diversification  within  organisms.  What  has  happened  in 
animal  evolution  is  this  specialization  of  functions  within  the  verte- 
brates (or  other  advanced  organisms),  so  that  each  system  is  much 
more  specific  in  its  functions.  While  special,  however,  the  systems  are 
very  highly  integrated  with  each  other.  I  think  this  is  the  most  signifi- 
cant point  here.  It  has  been  an  important  key. 

Huxley:  Isn't  it  the  evolution  of  a  better-integrated,  more  complex 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     139 

Olson:  Right. 

Stebbins:  With  plants  we  can  be  even  more  specific  and  say  that 
the  major  trends  on  which  our  phyla,  classes,  or  orders  are  based 
represent  more  efficient  ways  of  doing  two  things  that  land  plants  have 
to  do:  ( 1 )  securing  cross-fertilization  of  plants  that  are  sedentary  and 
cannot  move  around  and  ( 2 )  securing  more  efficient  methods  of  seed 
dispersal.  In  each  advancing  group  we  see  more  complex  and  more 
efficient  ways  of  doing  those  two  things. 

Huxley:  We  have  already  touched  on  this  point  of  the  successful, 
so-called  dominant,  types  that  rise,  radiate,  and  become  stabiHzed; 
and  I  think  we  generally  agree  that  by  "progressive  change"  we  mean 
change  in  the  direction  of  greater  efficiency  of  over-all  organization. 

One  point  I  should  like  to  bring  out  is  that  we  find  a  rise  in  the 
level  of  organization,  not  only  of  body  and  structure  and  function,  but 
also  of  behavior;  and  this  is  accompanied  by  the  emergence  and  in- 
creasing organization  of  what  one  must  call  "mental  properties."  This 
is  to  my  mind  the  most  extraordinary  feature  of  biological  evolution, 
and  it  will  be  discussed  in  detail  by  Panel  Four. 

I  shall  try  to  summarize  briefly  some  of  the  main  points  that  have 
been  raised,  and  more  or  less  agreed  upon.  We  all  accept  the  fact  of 
evolution.  We  all  agree  that  some  combination  of  mutation  and  re- 
combination is  the  raw  material  for  change  and  that  natural  selection 
is  the  main  directive  or  directional  principle  and  that  natural  selection 
is  not  conscious — it  is  the  result  of  the  differential  survival  of  variants 
through  the  generations.  This  means  that  biologists  no  longer  need — 
and  no  longer  can — think  in  terms  of  Lamarckism,  or  of  so-called 
orthogenetic  evolution — some  inner  urge,  some  elan  vital  that  makes 
organisms  evolve  as  they  do. 

Selection  acts  on  populations  rather  than  on  organisms,  and  it  acts 
through  the  phenotype  of  the  population — in  R.  A.  Fisher's  epigram- 
matic phrase,  "Natural  selection  is  a  mechanism  for  generating  an  ex- 
ceedingly high  degree  of  improbability."  It  produces  branching;  it 
produces  increasing  adaptation,  improvement,  progress,  or  whatever 
you  like  to  call  it;  and  it  produces  horizonal  persistence  of  branches, 
or  stabilization.  As  a  result,  selection  operates  not  only  between  indi- 
viduals or  populations  but  also,  in  the  long  run,  between  major  groups 
— classes  or  even  phyla.  This  results  in  the  succession  of  so-called 
dominant  types.  I  think  that  would  summarize  most  of  our  main  points. 

Of  course,  it  is  obvious  that,  although  there  has  been  a  great  deal  of 
agreement  among  us,  there  is  also  a  certain  amount  of  disagreement 
about  what  we  know,  and  a  great  deal  of  agreement  that  there  is  a  lot 
we  do  not  know.  So  I  should  like  each  member  of  the  panel  to  say 

140     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

where  in  his  field  he  thinks  that  ignorance  is  greatest  and  most  likely 
to  be  filled  up  by  further  research  in  the  next  generation  or  so. 

Axelrod:  We  need  more  comparative  surveys  of  major  alliances 
of  plants  in  terms  of  the  environment.  Such  studies  were  made  some 
time  ago  by  J.  W.  Bews  in  Africa  and  E.  C.  Andrews  in  Australia  and 
more  recently  by  J.  S.  Beard  in  tropical  America;  but,  in  general, 
these  are  almost  the  only  researches  in  this  area — really  an  ecological 
deployment  in  the  adaptive  radiation  of  plants — which  has  scarcely 
been  touched.  The  age  and  spatial  relations  of  the  different  climatic 
zones  are  pretty  well  known,  and,  by  turning  to  studies  of  natural  alli- 
ances that  are  deploying  through  time  and  space,  we  can  see  the  ways 
in  which  these  have  responded  to  the  environment  through  time. 

Finally,  one  small  point:  the  recent  work  in  pollen  analysis  opens  up 
a  tremendous  vista  in  research  on  rates  of  evolution,  not  only  in  moun- 
tainous regions  where  sediments  are  preserved  but  also  on  volcanic 
islands.  Here  we  can  look  for  pollen  preserved  in  old  soil  profiles,  be- 
tween lava  flows,  and  also  in  fine  volcanic  ash;  and  what  this  shows 
should  be  eye-opening. 

Dobzhansky:  I  can  see  so  many  fields  in  which  work  is  necessary 
that  I  cannot  even  begin  to  answer  the  question.  Since  I  have  only 
sixty  seconds  or  so,  I  shall  choose  one  point:  the  genetic  population 
structure  in  different  organisms.  This  is  a  tremendous  problem,  which 
has  to  be  studied  both  from  the  standpoint  of  the  theory  of  evolution 
and  from  the  somewhat  narrower  standpoint  of  genetics.  The  problem 
has  been  brought  to  our  attention  in  recent  years,  particularly  in  con- 
nection with  genetic  damage  by  radiation.  Our  knowledge  of  the  basic 
rules  governing  the  genetic  structure  of  populations  is  really  surpris- 
ingly slight,  and  it  is  urgent  to  know  more. 

Huxley:  You  mean  that  there  is  a  great  deal  to  be  discovered  by 
determining  the  differences  of  genetic  systems  and  organization  among 
the  different  types? 

Dobzhansky:  I  mean  that  the  genetic  structure  of  populations 
probably  differs  in  different  organisms. 

Ford:  I  have  two  or  three  projects  that  I  consider  essential.  Many 
of  our  really  important  conclusions  are  based,  not  on  defective  evi- 
dence, but  on  rather  good  evidence  drawn  from  too  small  a  number  of 
different  species  or  groups.  We  want  much  more  analysis  of  the  genetic 
structure  of  populations.  We  want  more  experiments  in  greater  detail 
on  the  evolution  of  the  effects  of  genes  and  on  the  ways  in  which  the 
effects  of  major  genes  can  be  modified.  This  is  particularly  relevant 
to  things  like  evolution  of  dominance  and  especially  the  evolution  of 
heterozygous  advantage  in  genetic  polymorphism,  because  in  recent 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     ■     141 

years  there  have  been  some  attempts  to  suggest  that  this  phenomenon 
is  rather  rare  or  unusual.  Finally,  a  point  I  should  have  liked  to  de- 
velop much  more  is  that  we  need  far  more  estimates  of  the  selective 
advantage  of  genes  in  nature.  When  R.  A.  Fisher  wrote  The  Genetical 
Theory  of  Natural  Selection  in  1930,  he  was  considering  selective  ad- 
vantages in  nature  up  to  about  1  per  cent.  We  are  now  finding  that 
selective  advantages  of  40  or  60  per  cent  are  common  in  nature.  This 
needs  much  further  study  and  requires  quite  a  lot  of  rethinking. 

Mayr:  I  have  one  point  from  my  own  field  and  it  is  pretty  much  in 
line  with  what  everyone  else  has  said.  Most  of  our  knowledge  of 
speciation  is  based  on  a  few  species  of  birds,  butterflies,  and  moths, 
and  we  need  to  know  a  great  deal  about  the  lower  types  of  animals, 
particularly  those  that  are  specialized  ecologically  or  in  their  mode 
of  reproduction. 

There  are  one  or  two  other  points,  from  other  fields,  which  I  am 
interested  in  as  an  innocent  bystander.  Paleontologists  have  described 
many  lines  that  remained  unchanged,  completely  stabilized,  for  120,- 
000,000  to  140,000,000  years,  and  then  suddenly  broke  out  during  a 
new  evolutionary  outburst.  Just  what  can  cause  such  loosening-up  of 
tightly  knit  systems  is  something  I  think  we  should  work  out  if  we  can. 

A  second  point  is  that  we  find  so  many  cases  of  extreme  sensitivity 
of  natural  selection,  doing  the  most  incredible  and  impossible  things; 
and  yet  the  whole  pathway  of  evolution  is  strewn  left  and  right  with 
the  bodies  of  extinct  types.  The  frequency  of  extinction  is  a  great 
puzzle  to  me.  Far  too  little  attention  has  been  paid  to  the  factors  re- 
sponsible for  this  failure  and  breakdown  of  natural  selection. 

A  third  point  concerns  biochemical  novelties.  The  major  ones  seem 
to  have  been  with  us  for  quite  some  time,  perhaps  from  the  beginning. 
But  what  about  the  role  of  the  minor  novelties?  I  should  like  to  know 
to  what  extent  they  may  be  involved  in  these  sudden  breakthroughs  of 
new  major  groups. 

Emerson:  I  am  going  to  make  my  statement  extremely  brief.  I 
would  say  that  we  need  much  more  precise  information  on  the  evolu- 
tionary time  dimension  within  all  the  biological  sciences — behavior 
and  development  and  so  on.  Second,  I  would  say  there  is  a  great  ques- 
tion of  the  precise  role  that  is  involved  in  conflicts,  incompatibility,  co- 
existence, and  co-operation,  both  within  and  between  species. 

Huxley:  Unfortunately,  we  did  not  have  time  to  discuss  that  im- 
portant point. 

Nicholson:  I  think  that  there  is  a  very  great  need  to  give  much 
more  attention  to  population  dynamics  in  relation  to  natural  selection. 
Darwin's  theory  of  natural  selection  had  two  parts.  The  first  of  these 
was  the  appearance  and  the  preservation  of  superior  types  of  indi- 

142     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

viduals,  and  that,  of  course,  is  the  provmce  of  modern  genetics.  The 
other  part  concerned  the  removal  of  the  earlier  form,  which  was  not;! 
so  fit  as  the  new  form — not  the  disappearance  of  unfit  forms  but  re-  ; 
placement  of  previously  fit  forms.  For  a  long  time  now,  attention  has  i 
been  given  alrnost  entirely  to  that  first  part.  I  have  great  admiration  for 
the  work  of  the  geneticists  and  for  all  the  advances  they  have  made; 
but  I  feel  that  this  has  caused  a  very  one-sided  development  of  evolu- 
tionary theory,  which  is  coming  to  be  regarded  as  almost  a  branch  of 
genetics.  I  believe  that  if  the  population  dynamics  aspect  of  evolu- 
tionary theory  were  properly  developed,  it  would  be  found  to  be 
equally  important  and  probably  equally  complex.  I  think  that  that 
has  been  demonstrated  this  morning.  Population  dynamics  provides 
a  system  that  holds  populations  in  a  state  of  stability  and  allows  selec- 
tion to  proceed  in  spite  of  its  disturbing  influence  upon  populations. 

One  further  point  is  the  multitude  of  different  systems  of  population 
regulation.  We  know  a  little  about  some  of  these  now,  but  we  do  not 
yet  know  very  much.  I  am  sure  that  when  we  know  more  about  these 
systems,  we  shall  find  that  they  have  influences  upon  natural  selection 
even  more  important  than  those  I  have  already  indicated. 

Huxley:  I  am  glad  you  raised  this  point.  It  is  clear  that  we  are 
moving  toward  increased  study  of  population  growth  and  dynamics 
from  the  genetic  angle  as  well  as  from  other  angles. 

Olson:  The  important  word  is  "paleoecology":  the  placing  of  the 
changing  populations  in  their  ancient  settings  in  such  a  way  that  the 
movement  of  whole  systems  through  time  could  be  studied.  This 
should  be  a  major  area  of  study  in  paleontology  in  the  future.  Also, 
I  feel  that  this  panel  demonstrates  the  need  for  better  education  of 
paleontologists  as  biologists,  and — amen — vice  versa. 

Prosser:  First,  I  should  like  to  see  increased  use  of  functional  cri- 
teria in  the  description  of  natural  populations  and  in  identification  of 
isolating  mechanisms. 

Second,  I  want  to  learn  how  environmental  stresses  operate  to  bring 
about  changes  in  the  phenotype.  We  have  evidence  that  temperature, 
saUnity,  oxygen,  partial  pressure,  and  the  like  can  bring  about  bio- 
chemical changes  and  that  these  changes  are  essentially  enzyme  induc- 
tions. We  beheve,  from  work  on  micro-organisms,  that  enzyme  induc- 
tion involves  the  production  of  new  template  RNA.  Yesterday  we 
talked  a  great  deal  about  DNA.  We  know  RNA  is  produced  under  the 
influence  of  DNA.  What  I  am  suggesting  is  that  we  have  here  the 
possibility  of  feedback  from  a  physical  factor  in  the  environment  ulti- 
mately to  the  nucleotides.  This  is  somatic  and  has  no  direct  effect  on 
the  genotype;  but  it  provides  the  material  on  which  natural  selection 
operates.  There  is  a  real  opportunity  and  a  real  challenge  for  the  next 

PANEL  TWO:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  LIFE     •     143 

generation  to  understand  what  I  would  call  the  "molecular  basis"  of 
natural  selection. 

Stebbins:  I  should  like  to  begin  where  Prosser  left  off,  and  I  think 
the  facts  he  developed  are  most  important.  Now  yesterday  we  saw  on 
this  platform  a  beautifully  colored  model  of  DNA.  We  can  go  down- 
town and  find  beautifully  dressed  models  of  a  different  sort.  We  know 
the  second  type  of  model  originated  from  a  fertilized  egg  containing 
forty-six  strings  of  DNA.  When  we  find  out  how  those  forty-six  strings 
of  DNA  effected  all  the  differentiation  of  cells,  tissues,  and  organs,  all 
the  forward  steps  and  feedbacks,  eventually  ending  in  this  beautiful 
form  we  all  admire,  then  we  shall  be  better  able  to  argue  about  the 
selective  basis  of  adaptations,  the  emergence  of  novelties,  or  any  other 
type  of  change. 

Wright:  I  think  anything  that  I  would  say  would  be  an  anticlimax. 
Moreover,  the  points  that  I  had  in  mind  have  already  been  mentioned 
in  one  form  or  another. 

Huxley:  Too  bad  your  name  begins  with  a  W.  But  don't  you  want 
to  say  anything? 

Wright:  I  may  say,  then,  that,  with  respect  to  the  stage  in  the  evo- 
lutionary process  with  which  I  have  been  concerned — the  lowest — I 
should  go  along  with  Dobzhansky.  We  need  much  more  detailed  stud- 
ies of  population  structure  of  species  in  nature  and  many  more  inten- 
sive studies  of  the  genetics  of  differences  among  local  communities. 

Huxley:  Also,  I  take  it,  you  entirely  agree  with  Stebbins. 

Wright:  I  agree  with  everybody. 

Huxley:  I  think  if  Charles  Darwin  had  been  alive  for  this  panel,  he 
would  have  been  bewildered  by  the  many  new  problems,  new  terms, 
and  new  ideas  that  have  come  up.  But  he  would  also  have  been  very 
excited.  I  am  sure  that  if  we  were  to  assemble  one  hundred  years  hence, 
we  should  be  equally  excited  and  equally  bewildered;  but  we  certainly 
have  a  wonderful  field  full  of  problems  for  biologists  to  follow  up. 


Chairmen:  George  Gaylord  Simpson  and  F.  Clark  Howell 
Panelists.     Marston   Bates;   Cesare  Emiliani;  A.   Irving  Hallowell; 
L.  S.  B.  Leakey;  Bernhard  Rensch;  C.  H.  Waddington 

Topics  for  Discussion 

I.  Introduction:  the  status  of  man  in  the  biological  world 

A.  The  systematics  of  man 

B.  The  evolutionary  status  of  man 
II.  The  course  of  human  evolution 

A.  Early  hominoids 

1 .  The  primate  background  as  a  basis  for  human  origins 

2.  Early  (especially  Miocene)  hominoids 

3.  Basic  adaptations  (limbs  and  tail;  question  of  brachiation; 
dentition;  habitat  and  diet) 

B.  Early  hominids 

1 .  The  australopithecines 

2.  Adaptations  at  this  level  (posture;  anterior  tooth  reduction 
in  relation  to  hands  and  brain;  tool-making;  habitat  and 

C.  Hominines 

1.  Fossil  hominines 

2.  Pleistocene  time  scale  and  antiquity  of  fossil  men 

3 .  Ecology  of  primitive  man 

4.  Effects  of  Pleistocene  glaciation 

5.  Rates  of  human  evolution  (changes  in  rates;  environmental 
pressures;  population  size  and  structure) 

6.  Evolution  of  the  brain  (qualitative  and  quantitative;  psy- 
chological reconditioning;  instinct,  learning,  and  teaching) 

7.  Local  differentiation  and  over-all  progression  (subspecies; 
present  unity  and  diversity) 

III.  The  factors  of  human  evolution 


146     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

A.  Genetic  factors  (mutation,  recombination,  selection) 

B.  Ecological  factors  (adaptive  roles;  choice  and  modification  of 

C.  Developmental  factors  (Isman"pedomorphic"?) 

D.  Trends 

1.  Progressive  changes;  kinds  and  degrees  of  improvement 

2.  Interaction  of  somatic  and  cultural  evolution 

3.  Transmission  and  receiving  in  genetics  and  in  culture 

4.  Development  of  value  systems 

E.  Present  biological  status  and  future  of  man 

1.  Somatic 

2.  Cultural 

The  Discussion 

Simpson:  I  think  a  chairman  should  be  a  benevolent  poHceman 
rather  than  a  participant.  Nevertheless,  I  have  been  persuaded  to  start 
the  discussion  with  a  brief  statement  about  the  systematics  of  man. 
When  one  is  going  to  discuss  any  subject,  it  is  always  well  to  explain 
what  one  is  talking  about;  so  I  think  we  should  say  a  Httle  more  ex- 
pHcitly  what  man  is  in  the  sense  of  his  zoological  classification.  This 
will  also  introduce  some  of  the  terms  to  be  used  in  the  subsequent  dis- 

Although  man  is  certainly  a  unique  and  very  extraordinary  animal, 
he  is  an  animal.  From  the  zoological  point  of  view,  man  must  be 
classified  just  as  is  any  other  animal,  and  he  fits  perfectly  well  into  the 
natural  system  of  organisms.  It  is  simply  a  matter  of  defining  his  place 
in  this  system. 

Living  man,  of  course,  belongs  to  the  single  species  sapiens  of  the 
genus  Homo.  This  genus  belongs  to  the  subfamily  Homininae;  so 
hominines  are  the  close  relatives  of  Homo  sapiens — fossil  men  in  the 
strictest  sense,  going  back  to  Pithecanthropus  and  including  a  great 
many  other  forms  such  as  Neanderthal  man  as  well  as  fossil  Homo 
sapiens.  The  Homininae  form  one  subfamily  of  the  family  Hominidae; 
the  other  hominid  subfamily  is  the  Australopithecinae. 

A  still  broader  group  to  which  man  belongs  is  the  superfamily 
Hominoidea;  hominoids  include  not  only  the  hominids   (man  and 

the  australopithecines)  but  still  more  distant  relatives,  the  Pongidae 

all  the  living  great  apes  and  a  large  array  of  fossil  forms,  some  of 
which  lived  before  the  Hominidae,  strictly  speaking,  had  appeared. 
The  superfamily  Hominoidea  is  often  put  with  the  monkeys  into  a 
group  Anthropoidea. 

To  come  down  to  still  broader  classifications,  the  order  Primates  in- 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     147 

eludes  not  only  man,  apes,  and  monkeys  but  also  the  premonkeys  or 
prosimians — the  lemurs,  tarsiers,  and  so  on.  Primates,  of  course,  forms 
an  order  of  the  class  Mammalia.  So  much  for  the  systematics  of  man. 

I  shall  ask  Waddington  to  lead  off  with  a  brief  statement  about  the 
evolutionary  status  of  man,  bringing  out  some  of  the  characteristics 
that  make  man  unique  and  that  are  important  in  man  as  an  organism. 

Waddington:  Before  we  go  into  the  nature  of  man  as  seen  by  the 
anthropologists,  we  should  see  how  he  compares  with  the  rest  of  the 
animal  world  from  the  point  of  view  of  those  who  are  primarily  in- 
terested in  non-human  organisms;  and  particularly  we  ought  to  see 
how  man  looks  in  relation  to  the  evolutionary  processes  of  that  sub- 
human world. 

Evolution  in  the  animal  world  takes  place  by  the  operation  of  four 
major  factors;  or  we  may  say  that  there  are  four  main  aspects  of  the 
evolutionary  system.  ( 1 )  One  is  what  we  might  call  in  a  broad  sense 
the  genetic  system.  (2)  Then  we  have  a  set  of  processes  that  I  refer  to 
as  the  epigenetic  system:  these  are  all  the  processes  that  transform  the 
fertilized  egg  into  the  adult  organism.  (3)  What  I  call  the  exploitive 
system  concerns  the  way  in  which  the  animal  utilizes  its  environmental 
possibilities:  all  animals  have  around  them  much  wider  possibilities 
of  life  than  they  are  able  or  willing  to  utilize,  and  they  do,  in  fact,  live 
in  only  one  of  the  possible  ways  they  might  have  chosen.  (4)  Finally, 
we  have  the  fourth  system,  natural  selection. 

How  does  man  compare  with  other  animals  in  these  respects?  The 
genetic  system  comprises  all  the  processes  that,  first,  give  rise  to  varia- 
tion and,  second,  allow  this  variation  to  be  transmitted  from  one  gen- 
eration to  the  next.  It  includes  the  mutation  of  the  genes,  the  recombi- 
nation of  genes,  and  the  systems  for  passing  on  genes  from  one  genera- 
tion to  its  offspring.  Systems  for  transmitting  variations  are  quite 
varied  in  the  lower  organisms.  Viruses,  bacteria,  etc.  use  all  sorts  of 
mechanisms  to  effect  the  recombination  and  transmission  of  hereditary 
determinants.  But  all  higher  organisms  rely  on  one  particular  mech- 
anism, the  sexual  system,  which  involves  a  diploid  stage  in  the  life- 
cycle  combined  with  reproduction  by  means  of  haploid  gametes.  Any 
deviations  that  we  find  in  higher  organisms  can  be  regarded  as  de- 
generations from  this  system  rather  than  advances  over  it.  Man,  of 
course,  falls  into  line  with  other  higher  organisms  in  his  reliance  on 
the  sexual  system.  The  previous  panel  asked  whether  sex  is  necessary. 
I  think  the  fungi  would  say  No;  but  for  man — and  I  don't  know 
whether  you  would  consider  this  to  his  advantage  or  not — we  should 
have  to  say  Yes.  At  any  rate,  man's  genetic  system  is  much  the  same 
as  that  of  any  other  higher  organism. 

148     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

In  the  epigenetic  system,  also,  I  think  that  man  follows  the  same 
kind  of  processes  as  do  most  other  higher  animals.  His  development, 
however,  takes  a  very  long  time,  and  this  lengthy  period  between  the 
fertilization  of  the  egg  and  the  attainment  of  the  adult  state  gives  man 
more  opportunity  than  most  animals  to  carry  out  developmental  modi- 
fications in  response  to  environmental  stresses  and  thus  to  adapt  him- 
self to  the  environment  to  a  greater  extent. 

I  think  it  is  very  clear  that  in  the  exploitive  system  man  has  made 
enormous  advances  over  any  subhuman  animal  type.  Man  is  the  most 
widespread  of  all  highly  evolved  species,  and  he  can  cope  with  a  greater 
range  of  environmental  possibilities.  In  the  animal  kingdom  as  a  whole, 
the  higher  and  more  evolved  animals  tend  to  be  able  to  exploit  more 
complicated  relations  between  elementary  situations  in  their  environ- 
ment. Progress  in  evolution  is  not  so  much  a  matter  of  exploiting 
simple  situations  more  fully  as  of  exploiting  interrelations.  It  is  this 
trend  that  man  carries  much  further  than  his  evolutionary  ancestors, 
first,  by  his  use  of  tools,  which  enables  him  to  modify  his  environment 
much  more  than  any  other  animal  can,  and,  second,  by  his  use  of  in-  i 
telligent  conceptual  thought,  which  is  a  method  of  exploring  the  rela-  I 
tions  between  things  in  the  environment  and  making  use  of  those  rela- 

Man  is,  like  other  organisms,  subject  to  natural  selection.  In  fact, 
the  occurrence  of  natural  selection  is  in  some  ways  a  truism:  if  certain 
organisms  reproduce  faster  than  others,  they  will  have  more  offspring; 
and  man  is  subject  to  that  law  like  any  other  living  creature.  Human 
activities  have  a  profound  influence  in  determining  which  types  of 
human  beings  will  actually  leave  most  offspring.  Man  himself  plays  a 
great  part  in  deciding  which  types  will  be  favored  by  natural  selection 
and  which  disfavored.  Yet,  however  much  man  alters  the  criteria  of 
biological  fitness,  he  will  still  be  subject  to  the  general  process  of  nat- 
ural selection  and  so  fall  into  the  same  category  as  evolving  subhuman 

As  a  purely  biological  system,  then,  man's  main  advance  over  sub- 
human organisms  is  the  greater  development  of  his  exploitive  system. 

But,  before  we  end  this  comparison  of  man  with  other  organisms  as 
evolving  systems,  there  is  another  point  to  be  made.  Man  has  acquired 
what  amounts  to  a  totally  new  evolutionary  system.  It  is  a  truism  that 
the  major  characteristics  of  man  include  conceptual  thought  and  the 
communication  of  information  by  language,  writing,  and  the  like.  In 
this  evolutionary  context  the  important  point  is  that  conceptual  thought 
and  language  constitute,  in  effect,  a  new  way  of  transmitting  informa- 
tion from  one  generation  to  the  next.  This  cultural  inheritance  does 
the  same  sort  of  thing  for  man  that  in  the  subhuman  world  is  done  by  , 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     149 

the  genetic  system,  which  transmits  its  "information"  from  generation 
to  generation  in  the  form  of  a  DNA  chain.  Man  can  similarly  transmit 
information  in  the  form  of  actual  letters  on  the  page.  The  analogy 
often  made  between  the  DNA  chain  and  writing  can  be  used  in  reverse; 
and  language  can  function  as  we  are  used  to  thinking  that  DNA  does. 

This  means  that,  besides  his  biological  system,  man  has  a  completely 
new  "genetic"  system  dependent  on  cultural  transmission.  No  other 
animal  has  developed  such  a  system  to  anything  like  the  same  degree 
of  perfection,  although  you  find  traces  of  it  in  the  subhuman  world,  as 
any  evolutionary  theory  would  lead  you  to  expect.  The  human  species 
has  developed  this  system  to  such  a  degree  that  many  people — myself 
among  them — think  the  greater  part  of  the  most  important  "informa- 
tion" transmitted  from  one  generation  to  the  next  is  passed  on  by  social 

With  a  new  system  for  transmitting  information  between  genera- 
tions, one  is  bound  to  get  a  new  system  of  evolution  based  on  it.  At 
this  point  I  think  it  is  necessary  simply  to  mention  that  man  differs 
from  all  other  animals  in  this  way.  We  shall  pursue  this  point  further 
at  a  later  stage  in  the  discussion. 

Simpson:  We  shall  now  take  up  human  evolution  and  human  ori- 
gins chronologically  and,  in  zoological  fashion,  start  with  the  more 
distant  relatives  and  work  down  to  modern  man.  This  seems  the  very 
core  of  the  subject  of  man  as  an  organism,  especially  in  a  conference 
on  evolution.  One  of  the  best  ways  of  understanding  any  organism  is 
to  understand  its  history;  and  this  is  human  history,  especially  in  a 
biological  sense. 

We  begin  by  taking  for  granted  by  far  the  greatest  amount  of  or- 
ganic evolution  as  having  already  occurred.  We  assume  that  the  verte- 
brates, the  mammals,  and  the  primates  have  arisen,  and  we  shall  dis- 
cuss how  man  happened  to  arise  among  the  primates.  How  did  it 
happen  that  our  ancestors  were  primates  and  not,  for  instance,  kanga- 

Howell:  It  is  necessary  to  take  as  given  much  of  the  data  that 
Simpson  subsumed  under  the  head  of  "systematics."  We  shall  not 
have  time  to  discuss  the  monkey,  prosimian,  or  pre-primate,  arboreal, 
primitive  stages  bearing  on  the  ancestry  of  hominoids  and,  in  particu- 
lar, on  the  ancestry  of  hominids. 

Comparative  anatomical  data  shed  considerable  light  on  human 
evolution  and  appreciably  broadened  our  concept  of  man.  Many 
characteristics  sometimes  thought  of  as  distinctively  human  are  actu- 
ally shared  with  other  animals,  including  those  that  made  man  a 
hominoid,  or  a  member  of  the  larger  category  Anthropoidea,  or  a 

150     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

primate.  Such  characters  as  binocular  vision,  stereoscopic  vision,  re- 
duction of  the  olfactory  apparatus,  the  pattern  of  dental  replacement, 
and  number  of  teeth  relate  man  to  other  members  of  the  primate  order. 
It  is  necessary  to  keep  such  facts  in  mind  to  avoid  regarding  as  spe- 
cifically human  certain  general  characteristics  relating  man  to  many 
other  organisms.  Our  program  is  roughly  arranged  so  that  from  the 
more  general  we  proceed  gradually  in  a  systematic  fashion  toward  the 
more  specific — or,  if  you  wish,  the  more  human — and  the  more 

Bates:  You  didn't  explain  why  we  didn't  come  from  kangaroos. 

Howell:  I  should  ask  Simpson  that,  since  he  has  the  greatest  ex- 
perience with  the  paleontological  record. 

Simpson:  The  early  primates  were  just  the  sort  of  animal  from 
which  a  curious  creature  like  man  could  arise.  Kangaroos  simply  do 
not  provide  the  basis  for  the  development  of  a  creature  like  man.  If  an 
equally  intelligent  organism  arose  among  the  kangaroos — which  is 
most  unlikely — it  certainly  would  not  have  the  same  characteristics  at 
all.  Can  anyone  else  add  to  this  statement? 

Waddington:  Doesn't  this  matter  of  why  we  didn't  evolve  from 
kangaroos  involve  some  important  aspects  over  and  above  the  purely 
anatomical  considerations?  Supposing  there  had  been  in  the  kangaroos 
a  mutation  producing  more  intelligence  or  greater  ability  to  communi- 
cate, would  not  the  natural  selective  advantage  of  such  a  mutation  de- 
pend to  a  large  extent  on  the  organization  of  the  animals  into  social 
groups?  The  possibility  of  conceptual  thinking  and  of  the  transmis- 
sion of  thought  in  the  way  man  transmits  it  seems  to  depend  not  only 
on  an  anatomical  basis  but  also  on  what  you  might  call  a  social- 
organization  basis. 

Bates:  From  this  point  of  view  the  other  group  of  mammals  from 
which  we  might  have  arisen  would  be  the  canines,  which  have  a  some- 
what similar  social  organization.  But  there  we  should  have  the  handi- 
cap of  being  a  canine  without  hands. 

Simpson:  Didn't  Clarence  Day  write  a  book.  This  Simian  World, 
in  which  he  speculated  on  what  the  world  would  be  like  if  man  had 
originated  from  cats? 

Hallowell:  Although  we  have  considerable  information  about 
the  social  Ufe  of  non-hominoid  primates  in  their  natural  state,  it  is  still 
a  very  small  sample.  But  from  even  these  limited  data  one  might  say 
that,  since  practically  all  members  of  the  primate  order  are  social  ani- 
mals, almost  all  the  anatomical  changes  involved  in  human  evolution 
have  occurred  in  species  that  were  social  in  their  manner  of  living 
from  very  far  back.  This  is  why  I  think  Waddington's  point  is  so  vitaL 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     151 

Rensch:  The  prolongation  of  postnatal  growth  in  higher  primates 
is  also  of  great  importance. 

Here  we  touch  a  fascinating  question,  of  equal  interest  to  biologists, 
philosophers,  and  even  theologians:  how  far  the  origin  of  man  may 
be  considered  an  accidental  or  an  inevitable  process.  In  all  species  of 
higher  animals  each  individual  is  unique  because  of  its  special  set  of 
genes  and  its  specific  types  of  proteins.  Spontaneous  mutations  are  un- 
directed, and  the  conditions  of  selection  occur  at  random.  Hence  each 
phylogenetic  step  is  a  unique,  unpredictable  event. 

In  evolution  as  a  whole,  however,  phylogeny  is  not  always  so  un- 
predictable but,  on  the  contrary,  is  governed  by  many  laws.  The 
phylogeny  of  mammals,  for  instance,  has  been  guided  by  the  following 
laws  or  rules:  the  law  of  steady  adaptation  in  consequence  of  steady 
mutation  and  selection;  the  biogenetical  rule;  Cope's  rule  of  successive 
increase  of  body  size;  Cope's  "law  of  the  unspecialized";  the  rule  of 
irreversibility;  the  rule  of  progressive  brain  size  and  special  progress 
of  the  isocortex;  Bergmann's,  Allen's,  Glazer's,  and  other  climatic 
rules;  etc. 

It  is  also  possible  to  show  that  evolutionary  progress  was  not  acci- 
dental but  was  forced  by  the  interaction  of  the  law  of  steady  mutation 
and  selection,  the  law  of  successive  improvement,  and  the  law  of  the 
non-specialized.  Thus  animals  with  more  rational  structures  and  func- 
tions arose. 

Man  could  originate  only  from  homoiothermic  animals,  which  alone 
had  a  metabolism  high  enough  that  human  performance  and  achieve- 
ment would  be  possible.  And  among  mammals  the  monkeys  in  par- 
ticular show  many  characters  favorable  for  the  origin  of  man. 

Hence  I  see  the  development  of  higher  types  of  mammals  and,  to 
some  extent,  of  a  being  like  man  as  necessitated. 

Simpson:  I  can  understand  the  rise  of  man  being  governed  by  law 
without  being  quite  inevitable;  but  this  is  certainly  a  very  interesting 

Hallowell:  We  might  say,  then,  that  the  social  life  and  social 
organization  of  the  prehuman  primates  would  represent  a  stage  pre- 
adaptive  to  man? 

Rensch:  Yes;  that  is  what  I  wished  to  say. 

Hallowell:  That  is  what  I  wished  to  clarify. 

Simpson:  Let  us  now  consider  the  actual  fossil  evidence  of  early 
hominoids.  This  panel  is  fortunate  in  the  presence  of  Leakey,  who  has 
made  many  essential  discoveries  in  this  field. 

Leakey:  We  have  very  few  specimens  of  fossil  primates,  compared 
with  almost  every  other  order  of  mammals.  While  it  is  not  easy  to  give 

152     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

a  positive  explanation  for  this  relative  lack  of  specimens,  I  will  advance 
a  hypothesis.  It  seems  likely  that  most  primate  genera  inhabited  forest 
or  woodland  or  open  country  not  very  close  to  water.  In  such  circum- 
stances, when  they  died,  their  bones  would  not  normally  be  fossiUzed. 
Generally  speaking,  fossilization  occurs  only  with  animals  living  in 
fairly  open  country  not  very  far  from  lakes,  streams,  or  rivers  into 
which  their  bones  are  washed  soon  after  death  and  mineralized  by 
water  carrying  minerals  in  solution.* 

Although  the  total  number  of  known  fossil  primates  remains  small, 
there  has  been  a  great  increase  in  the  number  of  specimens  within 
certain  groups,  particularly  Proconsul  and  Limnopithecus,  whose  way 
of  life  made  the  fossilization  of  their  bones  more  likely.  We  know  from 
studies  of  the  contemporary  fauna  that  these  groups  lived  out  in  open 
grassland  near  a  lake  shore. 

The  evidence  today  indicates  that  during  the  Miocene  and  Pliocene 
the  Hominoidea  were  diversifying  greatly  and  included  a  large  number 
of  genera*.  Dryopithecus,  for  instance,  is  found  both  in  Europe  and  in 
the  Siwalik  Hills  of  India;  and  in  India  we  have  a  secondary  center  of 
evolution  with  a  whole  series  of  very  interesting  fossil  Hominoidea: 
Bramapithecus,  Ramapithecus,  Sivapithecus,  and  many  others.  We 
have  too  little  data  to  be  certain  of  their  exact  relation  to  man  or  to 
other  members  of  the  Hominoidea,  and  we  need  a  much  more  intensive 
search  for  fossil  primate  remains. -Most  of  the  known  genera  seem  to 
have  been  forest  dwellers  closely  allied  to  the  great  apes  or  Pongidae.* 
For  the  moment,  we  also  include  Proconsul  in  the  Pongidae,  but  it 
becomes  increasingly  possible  that  we  shall  have  to  set  up  a  separate 
family,  Proconsulidae,  to  distinguish  him  from  the  Pongidae  in  the 
strictest  sense. 

♦From  our  study  of  the  limb  bones  of  Proconsul  and  of  the  associated 
fauna,  we  have  increasing  evidence  that  Proconsul  lived  out  in  the 
open  and  had  arms  and  legs  of  relatively  equal  length,  making  him  a 
normal  quadruped.*  Personally,  I  doubt  very  much  that  man  ever  went 
through  a  stage  with  short  legs  and  very  long  arms,  such  as  we  find  in 
the  great  apes  today.  I  believe,  rather,  we  shall  eventually  find  that  man 
arose  directly  from  a  quadrupedal  primate  similar  to  Proconsul  and 
acquired  an  upright  stance  without  developing  long  arms. 

Simpson:  You  vote  No,  then,  on  this  question  of  brachiation.  Does 
anyone  wish  to  vote  Yes  or  to  add  to  the  evidence  for  No? 

Hov^ell:  I  think  the  evidence  favors  most  of  Leakey's  conclusions, 
and  many  of  us  would  agree  with  him.  With  the  brachiation  problem 
it  is  necessary  to  specify  very  clearly  what  we  are  talking  about. 
Brachiation,  of  course,  means  moving  by  means  of  climbing  and  swing- 
ing with  the  arms — an  overhead  progression  through  the  trees,  like 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     153 

a  trapeze  artist.  The  word  was  introduced  at  the  end  of  the  last 
century  by  Keith,  who  observed  that  gibbons,  the  smallest  of  the 
living  hominoids,  moved  about  in  this  way  in  the  forests  of  Southeast 
Asia.  In  one  respect  it  is  unfortunate  that  he  chose  the  gibbon,  which 
is  the  extreme  arm-swinger  and  probably  was  the  first  hominoid  to  di- 
verge completely  and  become  adapted  to  a  very  special  way  of  life. 
Orangs,  of  course,  are  similar  arboreal  arm-swingers  but  are  heavy 
and  terribly  slow.  Gorillas  are  arboreal  cHmbers  that  have  become 
large  and  spend  most  of  their  time  on  the  ground;  but  young  gorillas 
or  the  lighter-bodied  chimpanzees  move  through  the  trees  in  a  very  char- 
acteristic fashion.  Their  use  of  arms  in  overhead  climbing  movements  is, 
in  a  way,  very  human,  very  similar  to  children  playing  in  trees — an- 
other way  of  saying  that  man  is  apelike  in  his  ways  of  behaving.  But 
whether  man  went  through  a  brachiating  stage  has  been  obscured  by 
the  fact  that  the  living  apes  are  very  speciaUzed,  just  as  living  man  is 
specialized  in  some  respects. 

Many  of  us  believe  that  the  hominoid  forms  living  in  the  Miocene 
were  not  specialized  in  the  same  sense  that  the  derivative  forms  are 
specialized  today.  Arm-swinging  like  a  gibbon  involves  many  speciali- 
zations of  the  hands  and  fingers — elongation  of  the  digits,  some  spe- 
cialized changes  in  the  carpus  of  the  hand,  loss  of  certain  muscles  or 
fusion  of  muscles,  great  proportionate  elongation  of  the  forearms,  and 
many  other  traits  that  were  not  present  in  these  early  forms.  Pliopithe- 
cus,  a  short-armed  gibbon  from  the  Miocene  of  Europe,  proves  this, 
and  the  same  is  true  of  Proconsul,  as  Leakey  has  already  mentioned. 

Just  this  year  we  have  had  for  the  first  time  a  detailed  study  of 
brachiation  among  the  higher  primates,  by  Virginia  Avis.  When  Keith 
introduced  the  term  in  the  1890's,  he  meant  arm-swinging  among  gib- 
bons; but  this  is  terribly  vague.  We  now  have  studies  showing  how 
different  apes — and  they  are  different  among  themselves — compare 
with  monkeys,  how  they  use  their  limbs  in  locomotion.  This  sort  of 
combined  functional  and  behavioral  study  shows  that  brachiation  is 
indeed  a  complex  term  that  covers  several  different  locomotor  patterns. 
We  ought  to  distinguish  these  categories  from  each  other. 

In  my  opinion,  Proconsul  was  in  many  respects  a  brachiator;  that  is, 
it  used  its  hands  overhead  when  moving  along  through  the  trees.  Pro- 
consul certainly  did  not  move  in  the  same  way  a  monkey  does,  al- 
though undoubtedly  it  had  many  monkey-like  movements.  But  this 
genus  had  this  freedom  of  the  shoulder,  this  primary  ability  to  rotate 
extensively  the  forearm  at  the  elbow,  and  none  of  the  specialized  char- 
acteristics of  the  living  brachiators.  That  is  very  important. 

Leakey:  May  I  cut  in?  The  word  "brachiation"  was  introduced  by 
our  chairman.  I  expressly  avoided  it.  Instead,  I  referred  to  "a  stage 

154     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

with  long  arms  and  short  legs,"  because  brachiation  has  been  used  in 
so  many  different  ways  that,  unless  we  define  it  clearly  and  agree  on 
what  we  mean  by  this  term,  it  is  better  avoided.  Some  of  the  earliest 
fossil  apes — Proconsul,  and  certainly  Limnopithecus — had  arms  ca- 
pable of  much  more  rotation  and  of  much  freer  movement  above  the 
head  than  many  other  animals.  But  this  is  also  true  of  many  monkeys. 
That  is  why  we  must  be  careful  in  our  definition  of  just  what  consti- 
tutes brachiation.  As  a  former  student  of  Keith's,  I  prefer  to  use  the 
word  only  for  the  conditions  under  which  primates  use  overlong  arms 
for  swinging  through  the  trees. 

Emiliani:  I  have  seen  definitions  that  would  include  among  brachi- 
ators  a  large  proportion  of  the  population  of  New  York  City  traveling 
in  the  subway. 

Hov^ell:  This  is  the  whole  point,  of  course.  Monkeys  are  unable 
to  make  many  specific  movements  and  patterns  of  movement  that 
humans  and  apes,  and  especially  certain  humans  and  certain  apes,  can 
perform.  The  apes  and  modern  man — we  don't  know  about  fossil 
man,  but  we  assume  that  he's  in  the  same  category — perform  a  variety 
of  movements,  including  the  equivalent  of  hanging  from  straps  or 
reaching  behind  the  head  to  pull  the  left  ear  with  the  right  arm,  which 
no  monkey  can  do.  This  great  mobility  of  the  shoulder  and  the  par- 
ticular structure  of  the  elbow  and  wrist  are  very  special  and  are  com- 
mon only  to  man  and  the  apes. 

Simpson:  This  problem  of  brachiation,  then,  seems  to  have  been  a 
pseudo-problem,  or  at  least  has  been  put  in  the  wrong  terms  in  many 
discussions  in  the  past. 

Bates:  It's  a  shame  that  we  lost  our  tails.  Don't  you  agree  that  a 
nice  prehensile  tail  would  be  very  useful? 

Howell:  Whether  man  ever  had  a  tail  is  an  important  problem. 
Many  lorises  do  not  have  tails.  Similarly  with  monkeys:  some  do  and 
some  do  not  have  tails.  The  question  is  particularly  relevant  for  the 
origin  of  much  of  the  supporting  mechanism  that  restrained  man's 
internal  organs  during  his  acquisition  of  upright  posture.  So  whether 
man  had  a  tailed  or  a  tailless  ancestor,  and  how  much  of  a  tail  it  was, 
is  vital  for  understanding  the  acquisition  of  certain  characters  of  loco- 

Leakey:  One  of  our  main  difficulties  is  that  we  lack  data  about  such 
structures  as  tails  from  the  early  part  of  the  period  during  which  the 
Hominoidea  arose.  We  always  hope  that  one  day  we  shall  find  a  nearly 
complete  skeleton  of  one  of  these  creatures  so  that  we  may  know 
whether  they  had  tails.  The  recent  discovery  of  the  strange  primate 
Oreopithecus,  which  is  certainly  a  hominoid,  may  give  us  a  partial 
answer.  But  even  if  Oreopithecus  had  no  tail — and  I  understand 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     155 

Hurzeler  is  not  yet  sure — it  would  not  establish  this  fact  for  other 
higher  primates.  For  my  own  part,  I  doubt  that  any  of  the  true  Homi- 
noidea  ever  had  tails. 

Simpson:  The  subject  of  the  tail  is  like  the  barking  dog  in  the 
night,  in  that  the  mystery  was  that  he  didn't  bark;  the  mystery  in  man, 
of  course,  is  that  we  lack  tails.  There  might  be  something  to  say  about 
the  dentition  of  these  earliest  hominoids. 

Leakey:  We  are  beginning  to  get  evidence  suggesting  that  some  of 
the  early  primates,  such  as  Proconsul,  had  peculiarities  of  dentition 
tending  toward  that  seen  in  the  true  Hominoidea  at  a  very  early  stage. 
There  is  even  a  suggestion  that  milk  dentition  of  the  type  that  devel- 
oped in  the  Hominoidea  may  have  begun  in  some  of  the  very  early 
primates.  This  needs  more  study.  But  I  think  in  the  past  we  have  not 
adequately  understood  the  character  of  the  canine  teeth.  We  have 
tended  to  overemphasize  and  to  be  preoccupied  with  the  size  of  pongid 
canine  teeth.  I  think  we  must  pay  more  attention  to  the  fundamental 
character  and  morphology  of  canine  teeth  in  different  branches  of  the 
Hominoidea  rather  than  to  the  size. 

Simpson:  Of  course,  the  idea  that  man's  ancestors  passed  through 
a  stage  with  large  canine  teeth  has  been  opposed  as  a  contradiction  of 
irreversibility  of  evolution.  This  is  a  false  application  of  the  principle, 
which,  as  far  as  it  has  been  authenticated,  would  by  no  means  exclude 
the  possibility  that  man's  ancestors  had  large  canines,  which  were  first 
enlarged  and  then  reduced.  Such  sequences  have  happened  over  and 
over  again  in  evolution.  I  agree  that  size  is  rather  trivial  compared 
with  structure  and  function. 

Bates:  How  do  the  structure  and  function  of  the  canines  differ  in 
different  forms;  that  is,  how  do  you  tell  from  looking  at  a  canine  how 
it  was  used? 

Simpson:  I  prefer  not  to  answer  for  humans  or  hominoids.  In  some 
other  groups,  you  can  tell  a  great  deal  from  the  structure  of  the  canines. 
There  are  very  gross  examples,  like  the  sabertooth  tiger,  whose  canines 
certainly  functioned  differently  from  those  of  a  rodent  that  lacks 

Bates:  But  Leakey  was  emphasizing  that  we  should  study  not  the 
size  but  the  form,  and  I  was  wondering  What  characters  in  particular? 

Leakey:  We  now  have  many  specimens  of  the  canine  teeth  of  Pro- 
consul and  of  early  pongids  generally;  and  I  am  more  and  more  com- 
ing to  the  conclusion  that  you  can  clearly  distinguish  the  teeth  of  this 
genus  from  those  of  many  other  Pongidae.  I  think  we  have  been  over- 
emphasizing the  size  of  canine  teeth  while  neglecting  their  morpho- 
logical type. 

Howell:  These  large  anterior  teeth,  specifically  the  big  canines 

156     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

of  the  gorilla  and  orang,  were  considered  significant  in  early  theories 
of  man's  origin  and  relationship  to  other  hominoids.  Darwin,  for 
instance,  suggested  that  the  size  of  human  canines  was  reduced  be- 
cause of  tool  use.  Actually,  the  interior  dentition  is  a  very  complex 
structure  in  all  the  apes.  It  is  not  merely  a  question  of  the  canines, 
either  upper  or  lower;  for  the  canines,  both  upper  and  lower,  and  cer- 
tain spatial  relationships  between  them,  and  the  spaces  enabling  them 
to  mterlock  and  to  fit  with  the  lower  premolar — the  first  bicuspid 
tooth  that  follows  them — are  all  specialized  in  a  particular  way  in  all 
the  known  apes.  This  specialization  of  the  canine  complex  was  gen- 
erally present  in  the  Miocene  hominoids,  but  it  was  not  nearly  always 
so  extreme  as  in  certain  modern  forms.  This  is  true  even  of  Proconsul. 
The  size  of  the  canines  is  part  of  a  whole  pattern  that,  once  it  be- 
gins, seems  to  carry  along  in  certain  hominoids.  Some  workers  think 
this  complex,  like  very  long  arms,  is  a  characteristic  separating  the 
apelike  hominoids  from  the  non-apelike  hominoids. 

Simpson:  This  discussion  becomes  more  interesting  as  we  approach 
ourselves.  The  next  group,  the  australopithecines,  has  made  a  tremen- 
dous stride  in  the  human  direction.  Leakey,  who  with  his  wife  just 
this  summer  made  one  of  the  major  discoveries,  is  well  qualified  to 
discuss  the  structure  and  habits  of  these  animals. 

Leakey:  The  most  important  point  about  the  subfamily  Australo- 
pithecinae  is  that,  beyond  all  doubt,  they  walked  erect:  a  conclusion 
clearly  established  by  the  position  of  their  occipital  condyles  and  the 
shape  of  the  base  of  the  skull  and,  in  the  South  African  genera  Paran- 
thropus  and  Australopithecus,  by  the  structure  of  the  pelvis  and  limb 
bones.  These  are  some  of  the  reasons  this  subfamily  is  put  into  the 

Another  reason  is  their  dentition.  This  group  lacks  any  suggestion 
of  the  type  of  large  canine  found  in  the  great  apes  today;  and  the 
diastema  is  either  absent  or  very  small,  quite  unlike  that  of  the  apes. 
Moreover,  the  whole  arcade  of  the  teeth  in  the  upper  and  lower  jaws 
distinguishes  the  Australopithecinae  from  the  Pongidae.  In  all  the 
Pongidae,  except  Proconsul,  the  molar-premolar  series  tends  to  be 
parallel  or  even  converge  backward,  so  that  the  third  molars  are  closer 
together  than  the  canine  teeth,  whereas  in  most  of  the  Hominidae  and 
in  Proconsul  there  is  convergence  from  the  back  toward  the  front.  In 
the  Hominidae  this  difference  of  arrangement  is  associated  with  a  con- 
siderable reduction  in  the  size  of  the  canines,  while  in  Proconsul  it  is 
associated  with  a  great  reduction  and  crowding  together  of  the  in- 
cisors. Then  there  is  the  milk  dentition.  Putting  aside  the  possibility 
in  the  Proconsul  group  of  a  tendency  toward  hominid  milk  dentition. 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     157 

in  the  Australopithecinae  the  first  lower  milk  molars  are  of  exactly  the 
same  type  as  those  found  in  man  today,  and  quite  unlike  the  form 
seen  in  the  Pongidae. 

Next,  let  us  consider  the  brains  of  these  creatures.  While  it  is  true 
that  they  are  not  appreciably  larger  than  those  of  some  of  the  larger 
gorillas,  they  were  large  in  relation  to  the  body  size.  This  incidentally 
raises  an  issue  that  we  shall  deal  with  later,  but  I  should  like  to  say 
at  this  point  that  mere  size  of  brain  is  not  so  important  as  people  like 
to  believe.  Even  scientists  in  other  fields  repeatedly  ask  me,  "What 
was  the  size  of  the  brain  in  Zinjanthropus?  Was  it  of  human  size?" 
When  taken  in  relation  to  total  body  weight,  size  has  some  importance. 
But,  by  itself,  size,  as  distinguished  from  brain  complexity  within  that 
size  range,  is  much  less  important.  There  is  no  reason  to  believe  that, 
because  the  South  African  Australopithecinae  had  brains  only  about 
as  large  as  that  of  a  gorilla,  their  mental  abihty  was  of  the  same  order. 
Australopithecus  could  easily  have  had  a  brain  of  the  same  size  or  even 
smaller,  but  much  more  complex  in  respect  of  the  cortex  and  there- 
fore capable  of  much  more  effective  use. 

Within  the  subfamily  Australopithecinae  of  the  family  Hominidae, 
we  now  have  a  third  member,  Zinjanthropus.  This  form  differs  in  so 
many  ways  from  both  A  ustralopithecus  and  Paranthropus  that  it  must 
be  put  in  a  separate  genus.  In  certain  characteristics  it  is  much  closer 
to  man  than  to  either  of  the  other  two  genera.  For  example,  Zinjan- 
thropus has  a  very  well-developed  mastoid  process  of  pyramidal  form; 
a  much  deeper  palate,  especially  in  the  anterior  part;  more  clearly 
defined  anterior  rim  of  nasal  aperture  and  well-marked  nasal  spines; 
and  an  entirely  modern  type  of  facial  architecture. 

These  differences  indicate  a  great  diversification  and  branching-out 
of  different  groups  of  Hominidae  at  this  level  of  evolution.  I  wish  to 
stress  this,  because  there  is  a  growing  tendency  among  anthropolo- 
gists, anatomists,  and  paleoanthropologists  to  think  that  man  is  a 
special  animal  whose  evolutionary  steps  follow  more  or  less  a  straight 
fine  without  side  branches.  I  dispute  this.  My  concept  of  the  evolu- 
tionary development  of  man  is  much  more  complex;  and  not  only  can 
it  not  be  drawn  in  Hnear  form,  but  it  cannot  even  be  shown  accurately 
in  two  dimensions.  It  is  very  complex,  with  many  divergent  and  even 
crisscross  branches,  and  emphatically  is  not  a  simple  sequence  of  suc- 
cessive stages.  On  the  other  hand,  I  do  think  the  australopithecine  sub- 
family has  characters  which  suggest  that  the  totality  of  this  group 
represents  an  evolutionary  stage  through  which  the  primates  passed 
on  their  way  to  becoming  man. 

Simpson:  These  creatures  are  beginning  to  act  in  ways  within  your 
sphere  of  interest,  Hallowell. 

158     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Hallowell:  I  wonder  whether  Leakey  would  comment  on  three 
points:  the  use  of  fire  by  the  australopithecines,  their  capacity  for 
speech,  and  their  use  of  tools. 

Leakey:  There  is  no  evidence  of  the  use  of  fire  by  any  of  the 
australopithecines.  My  colleague  and  friend  Raymond  Dart  described 
his  second  find  of  Australopithecus  by  the  specific  name  prometheus 
because  he  believed  that  it  was  associated  with  carbonized  material. 
But  v/hen  it  was  examined  critically  by  chemists,  it  was  clear  that  the 
black  material  associated  with  the  bones  was  manganese  and  had  noth- 
ing  to  do  with  fire.  Remember,  however,  that  the  australopithecines 
were  Hving  in  Africa,  in  a  warm  climate,  and  perhaps  did  not  need 
fire;  for  they  certainly  had  plenty  of  opportunity  to  obtain  fire  from 
natural  sources,  such  as  volcanoes. 

It  is  difficult  at  present  to  answer  the  question  of  speech  with  any 
certainty.  I  recently  examined  all  the  available  jaws  of  Australopithe- 
cus and  Paranthropus  in  Pretoria  and  Johannesburg.  In  the  few  speci- 
mens in  which  the  inner  region  of  the  lower  part  of  the  mandibular 
symphysis  is  preserved,  I  could  find  no  evidence  of  the  type  of  muscle 
scar  we  associate  with  the  use  of  the  tongue  muscles  for  the  rapid 
movements  needed  in  speech.  Moreover,  the  whole  shape  of  the  palate 
in  these  genera  is  one  I  would  regard  as  not  being  associated  with 
ability  to  articulate  speech,  although  certainly  capable  of  uttering 
some  sounds.  I  should  therefore  say  that  Australopithecus  and  Paran- 
thropus show  no  evidence  of  capacity  for  speech. 

We  have  not  yet  found  a  lower  jaw  of  Zinjanthropus,  so  I  cannot 
give  a  positive  answer.  The  depth  and  general  shape  of  the  palate 
suggest  that  when  the  lower  jaw  is  found,  we  may  find  that  it  was  the 
type  linked  with  speech,  but  that  is  far  from  certain  at  present.  This 
would  be  another  strong  indication  that  Zinjanthropus  is  truly  human. 

The  third  question  was  whether  the  Australopithecinae  are  asso- 
ciated with  tools.  Dart  has  suggested  that  a  very  complex  series  of  dif- 
ferent kinds  of  tools  was  made  by  the  South  African  Australopithe- 
cinae from  the  bones  and  the  jaws  of  animals.  My  own  view  is  that, 
while  some  of  these  bones  and  jaws  were  used  to  some  extent  as  natural 
tools,  I  doubt  whether  they  were  tools  in  the  strict  sense.  So  far  as  I 
can  see,  they  were  not  made  to  a  set  and  regular  pattern.  I  befieve 
there  is  some  exaggeration  of  the  evidence  used  to  account  for  the 
accumulation  of  bones  and  teeth  at  the  South  African  sites,  but  I 
cannot  discuss  that  now.  I  am  quite  certain  that  the  stone  tools  claimed 
to  have  been  found  with  Australopithecus  prometheus  were  not  tools 
at  all. 

More  recently,  in  an  upper  level  at  Sterkfontein,  R.  J.  Mason  and 
J.  T.  Robinson  found  tools  clauned  to  be  of  the  Oldowan  culture  and 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     159 

said  to  be  associated  with  Australopithecus  teeth.  A  great  many  more 
tools  have  been  found  since  then,  including  specimens  of  the  Chellean 
type.  I  am  not  at  all  happy  about  the  claim  that  the  associated  teeth  are 
those  oi  Australopithecus;  they  could  just  as  well  belong  to  some  other 
early  hominid,  such  as  Telanthropus.  I  think  Robinson  would  not  now 
claim  what  he  did  in  1956;  and  therefore  I  think  it  is  not  as  yet  proved 
that  the  South  African  Australopithecinae  made  tools. 

In  contrast,  the  genus  Zinjanthropus  of  East  Africa  was  found  on  a 
natural,  sealed-in  living  floor,  in  direct  association  with  nine  very  well- 
made  regular  tools  of  the  Oldowan  type,  together  with  176  waste 
flakes.  Most  of  the  material  had  been  brought  in  from  over  four  miles 
away,  and  some  of  it  from  nineteen  miles  away.  Therefore,  it  definitely 
can  be  said  that  Zinjanthropus  was  a  man  in  the  tool-making  sense. 

Bates:  Leakey  has  a  book  coming  out  this  spring,  a  new  version 
of  Adam's  Ancestors,  which  undoubtedly  will  explain  these  things. 
Raymond  Dart  has  just  published  a  fascinating  book.  Adventures 
with  the  Missing  Link,  giving  his  views  on  this  bone  culture;  and  I 
suspect  that  from  these  two  books  one  can  get  a  very  good  idea  of 
the  controversy. 

Simpson:  Now  we  have  had  the  commercial.  Next,  we  are  going 
to  discuss  the  subfamily  to  which  we  belong,  and  I  will  ask  Howell 
to  summarize  some  of  the  fossils  that  belong  to  the  Homininae. 

Howell:  By  the  beginning  of  the  Middle  Pleistocene  there  is  good 
evidence  of  man's  presence  in  extensive  areas  of  the  Old  World — 
throughout  Africa,  in  southern  and  western  Europe,  and  in  Southeast 
Asia  and  the  Far  East.  Evidence  in  western  and  southwestern  Asia 
is  very  poor,  largely  because  of  preoccupation  with  protohistory  and 
biblical  archeology  and  not  enough  interest  in  matters  prehistorical 
and  geological.  The  great  area  from  the  eastern  Mediterranean  littoral 
to  and  including  the  Indian  subcontinent  is  hterally  unknown,  so  far 
as  the  important  Middle  Pleistocene  time  range  is  concerned. 

In  this  respect  hominines  represent  a  new  grade  of  development 
within  the  hominids;  and  they  seem  to  have  dispersed  from  a  primary 
center  of  evolution.  A  number  of  workers  think,  as  Darwin  believed 
one  hundred  years  ago,  that  this  center  was  in  Africa,  although  it 
might  have  included  areas  that  are  not  now  geographically  part  of 
the  African  continent. 

Some  workers  in  human  paleontology  see  differences  of  a  specific 
level,  others  of  a  generic  level,  between  the  western,  or  European,  and 
the  eastern,  or  Asian,  hominines  of  the  Middle  Pleistocene.  Certainly 
there  are  substantial  differences  in  their  morphology.  The  only  way 
to  express  differences  in  morphology  is  to  give  these  adequate  taxo- 


160     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

nomic  rank.  Some  of  these  differences  seem  to  be  of  at  least  a  specific 
nature.  I  shall  not  develop  this  point  because  I  think  it  is  not  important. 

Relatively  little  is  known  about  the  factors  responsible  for  this  wide 
dispersal  of  the  early  hominines;  but  probably  it  occurred  because  the 
first  hominines — or  the  first  men,  if  you  prefer  that  term — were  both 
able  and  forced  by  certain  pressures  to  exploit  new  environments. 
They  were  fully  and  habitually  carnivorous,  and  meat  represented  a 
substantial  part  of  their  regular  diet,  a  further  shift  from  the  spo- 
radically predaceous  and  semicarnivorous  scrounging  of  the  australo- 
pithecines,  capable  of  coping  only  with  small  mammals  or  inmiature 
medium-sized  mammals  and  similar  animal  life.  While  the  earlier 
hominines  were  not  yet  hunting  peoples  in  the  sense  of  those  who  lived 
30,000  to  50,000  years  ago,  they  were  none  the  less  sufficiently  com- 
petent hunters  to  deal  adequately  with  a  variety  of  game,  including 
all  the  large  animals,  under  relatively  diverse  ecological  circumstances. 

The  early  hominines  apparently  had  an  adequate  material  culture 
in  stone,  with  particular  types  of  implements  being  fashioned  ac- 
cording to  established  traditions  of  manufacture  and  to  consistent 
forms.  Although  its  preservation  is  certainly  incomplete,  with  prac- 
tically nothing  known  of  bone  or  wood  implements,  for  example,  this 
partly  reflects  the  neglect  of  this  problem  by  prehistoric  archeologists. 
A  notable  exception  is  Leakey,  who  in  East  Africa  has  excavated 
several  of  the  actual  living  sites  of  such  early  peoples.  From  these 
sites,  which  cover  much  of  the  Middle  Pleistocene  time  range,  we  be- 
gin to  know  how  tools  were  prepared  and  what  kinds  of  tools  were 
made,  and  we  can  make  some  inferences  about  their  cultural  level. 
Other  such  potentially  rewarding  sites  in  various  parts  of  the  world 
need  attention,  especially  in  Europe,  western  Asia,  and  India. 

So,  with  the  appearance  of  the  hominines,  there  is  evidence  of  bio- 
logical, as  well  as  of  cultural,  change.  Certainly  there  is  evidence  of 
man's  widespread  radiation  into  different  parts  of  the  Old  World.  As 
far  as  is  known,  these  people  were  not  australopithecines  in  the  strict 
sense,  although  often  they  show  resemblances  to  what  probably  was 
an  australopithecine  source.  Hence  most  human  paleontologists  think 
that  the  hominines  passed  through  an  early  hominid  stage  or  grade  of 
organization  that,  broadly  speaking,  could  be  called  "australopithe- 
cine." This  may  have  represented  an  extremely  long  period  prior  to 
hominine  dispersal. 

Simpson:  Human  evolution  occurs  against  a  scale  of  time  that  is 
slowly  being  worked  out.  Emiliani  has  been  doing  some  exciting  work 
in  developing  methods  of  dating. 

Emiliani:  I  would  rather  Howell  went  ahead  a  bit  to  introduce  the 
names  of  some  of  the  sites. 

Howell:  I  think  it  is  not  important  to  name  all  the  sites.  Fifty 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     161 

years  from  now,  we  hope  to  have  fifty,  one  hundred,  or  a  hundred 
and  fifty  more.  We  mention  them  now  only  because  we  have  so  few. 

In  western  Europe  the  earhest  evidence  of  man  appears  near  what 
we  think  is  the  end  of  the  first  great  continental  glaciation,  the  Mindel. 
The  site  of  Mauer,  near  the  town  of  Heidelberg,  is  the  oldest  such  well- 
dated  occurrence  in  Europe.  Fossil  remains  dating  from  a  somewhat 
later  time  were  found  at  Steinheim,  north  of  Stuttgart,  and  at  Swans- 
combe,  on  the  Thames  River  not  far  from  London.  A  little  younger 
than  the  human  remains  from  Mauer  are  those  from  Ternifine  in  Al- 
geria. There  are  somewhat  later  sites  along  the  Atlantic  coast  of  Mo- 
rocco. In  eastern  Asia  the  earliest  human  skeletal  remains  are  from 
Java,  from  several  beds  of  differing  geological  age,  but  all  from  the 
Middle  Pleistocene  from  our  present  knowledge  of  the  associated 
mammahan  fauna.  In  China  there  is  "Peking  Man"  found  at  Choukou- 
tien,  southwest  of  Peking,  one  of  the  few  sites  providing  a  satisfactory 
population  sample.  There  are  australopithecine  samples,  of  course, 
and  some  good  samples  from  later  in  the  Pleistocene,  but  very  little 
is  known  about  human  populations  throughout  most  of  the  Middle 

Emiliani:  Ever  since  it  became  clear  that  man  was  not  created 
abruptly  but  evolved  slowly  by  normal  processes,  a  basic  task  of  paleo- 
anthropological  research  has  been  to  attach  a  time  scale  to  the  se- 
quence of  events  in  human  evolution.  Most  human  and  prehuman 
fossils  have  been  dated  only  paleontologically,  by  determining  whether 
they  are  Lower,  Middle,  or  Upper  Pleistocene.  I  shall  very  rapidly 
define  the  Pleistocene  as  the  length  of  time  since  certain  maladjusted 
species  of  northern  marine  moUusks  migrated  southward  to  the  Medi- 
terranean, because  it  was  too  cold  in  the  north,  and  were  buried  in 
the  continuous  Plio-Pleistocene  sequences  of  Italy.  That  event  was 
chosen  by  the  Eighteenth  International  Geological  Congress  in  1948 
as  marking  the  onset  of  the  Pleistocene.  We  have  only  a  very  rough 
idea  of  when  that  was. 

Since  marine  mollusks  naturally  are  buried  in  marine  sediments, 
it  is  very  difiicult  to  correlate  them  with  the  sediments  containing  con- 
tinental fauna  upon  which  the  terms  "Lower,"  "Middle,"  and  "Upper" 
Pleistocene  are  based.  Most  Pleistocene  studies  have  been  based  on 
continental  sediments — on  moraines,  till  sheets,  and  other  glacial  fea- 
tures or  on  loess  sheets  outside  glaciated  areas.  These  sediments  are 
always  discontinuous  and  nowhere  represent  more  than  one  or  two 
glaciations,  with  only  one  or  two  interglacial  deposits  sandwiched  be- 
tween. For  about  a  hundred  years,  geologists  have  been  trying  to  re- 
construct the  history  of  the  Pleistocene  from  this  very  fragmentary 

The  classic  scheme  of  four  glaciations  separated  by  three  major 

162     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

interglacials  was  produced  fifty  years  ago  by  A.  Penck  and  E.  Bruckner 
in  Austria  and  southern  Germany.  Even  earlier,  North  American  geol- 
ogists had  postulated  five  glaciations  instead  of  four.  Actually,  both 
classifications  were  valid,  since  the  European  fourth  glaciation  had 
two  stages  that  American  scholars  separated  into  two  different  glacia- 

For  a  complete  uninterrupted  section  covering  the  whole  Pleistocene, 
one  must  turn  to  deposits  formed  under  water.  Lakes  with  a  continu- 
ous sequence  of  sediments  are  very  few,  and  by  far  the  best  possibility 
is  offered  by  the  deep  sea.  About  40  per  cent  of  the  ocean  floor  is  car- 
peted with  sediments  called  "Globigerina  ooze,"  consisting  largely  of 
the  shells  of  pelagic  Foraminifera  depositing  calcium  carbonate.  After  a 
brief  life  these  organisms  reproduce,  and  their  shells  fall  to  the  bot- 
tom, where  they  accumulate  at  roughly  constant  rates  (2-3  cm.  per 
thousand  years),  together  with  clay  particles  introduced  into  the  ocean 
by  rivers  or  wind. 

With  modern  devices  for  sampling  such  deep-sea  deposits,  columns 
as  long  as  20  meters,  covering  the  whole  Pleistocene  and  going  back 
well  into  the  Pliocene,  have  been  recovered.  From  such  a  column  one 
can  extract  at  regular  intervals  the  shells  of  the  protozoans  that  once 
lived  near  the  surface  and  can  actually  determine  the  temperature  of 
the  ocean  surface  at  the  time  these  shells  were  deposited.  The  method, 
devised  and  developed  here  at  the  University  of  Chicago  by  Harold 
Urey,  consists  simply  in  determining  the  ratio  of  the  two  oxygen  iso- 
topes— O^^  and  O^^ — in  the  shells.  This  ratio  depends  essentially  on 
the  temperature.  Thus  one  can  reconstruct  the  variations  in  tempera- 
ture of  the  ocean  surface  throughout  the  Pleistocene.  When  this  was 
done,  we  noticed  that  in  such  areas  as  the  equatorial  Atlantic  or  the 
Caribbean,  where  there  was  some  proximity  to  the  ice  caps  surround- 
ing the  northern  end  of  the  Atlantic,  the  temperature  oscillated  about 
6°  or  7°  C.  between  colder  and  warmer  periods.  We  have  a  series  of 
peaks  and  valleys  representing  periods  of  warm  and  cold  weather — 
reflected  in  cold  and  warm  water — in  these  areas. 

Dating  the  deep-sea  cores  is  neither  so  complicated  nor  so  difficult 
as  dating  continental  deposits.  By  radiocarbon  methods,  which  have 
a  range  approaching  70,000  years  at  present,  continental  deposits  can 
be  dated  back  that  far.  Marine  deposits  can  be  dated  back  to  the  same 
level  by  this  method.  Such  datings  indicate  that  the  last  temperature 
minimum  shown  in  the  deep-sea  deposits  corresponds  to  the  time  of 
the  maximum  advance  of  the  ice  in  the  Northern  Hemisphere. 

The  first  attempt  to  date  marine  deposits  older  than  70,000  years 
was  simply  an  extrapolation  of  radiocarbon  ages.  The  method  is  not 
very  elegant  but  is  fairly  reliable,  because  sedimentation  in  the  open 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     163 

ocean  is  nearly  constant  if  averaged  through  a  glacial-interglacial 
stage.  By  this  method  we  have  been  able  to  date  temperature  minima 
that  are  correlated  with  glaciations  at  18,000,  65,000,  110,000,  180,- 
000,  and  275,000  years  ago. 

Turning  to  human  evolution,  we  can  say  that  continental  fossils 
that  are  correlated  with  glacial  and  interglacial  stages  in  the  northern 
latitudes  correspond  to  the  date  of  a  particular  maximum  or  minimum 
temperature  shown  in  the  deep-sea  cores.  John  Rosholt  has  recently 
verified  the  extrapolations  by  direct  dating  by  using  two  radioactive 
isotopes — protoactinium-231  (Pa-^^)  and  thorium-230  (Th-^^),  both 
of  which  are  daughters  of  uranium.  Thus  our  present  time  scale  may 
be  correct,  although,  when  originally  proposed,  it  was  based  on  rather 
flimsy  grounds. 

This  seems  to  me  the  best  available  method  of  dating  human  fossils. 
Bone  itself  is  physically  and  chemically  very  active  and  is  so  easily 
contaminated  that  it  is  practically  impossible  to  date  it  directly.  Mate- 
rial associated  with  bones — shells,  for  instance — could  be  dated  more 
easily,  but  the  attempts  that  have  been  made  are  only  preliminary.  So 
I  suggest  that  the  only  possibility  of  establishing  an  absolute  time  scale 
for  human  evolution  is  this  indirect  method  of  using  the  deep-sea  cores. 

Simpson:  How  old  would  you  say  that  Leakey's  Zinjanthropus,  for 
instance,  might  be,  supposing  it  is  about  the  same  age  as  the  Sterkfon- 
tein  remains? 

Emiliani:  Australopithecus  lived  during  the  so-called  Lower  Pleis- 
tocene, by  my  estimate  perhaps  300,000-600,000  years  ago — roughly, 
half  a  milHon  years.  African  sequences  are  very  difficult  to  correlate 
with  glacial  stages.  Pithecanthropus  lived  during  the  First  Interglacial, 
or  at  least  extended  through  this  period,  and  became  extinct  about 
200,000  years  ago.  If  we  consider  the  Swanscombe  skull  Homo  sapiens, 
modern  man  dates  from  120,000  to  125,000  years  ago.  On  the  other 
hand,  the  earliest  fossils  representing  modern  man  may  be,  instead, 
the  Fontechevade  remains.  From  what  I  can  gather  from  published 
descriptions,  their  only  non-sapiens  feature  is  a  somewhat  greater 
thickness  of  the  skull  bones;  and  I  do  not  know  whether  this  falls  into 
the  range  of  thickness  found  among  modern  man.  Certainly,  they  look 
very  modern.  The  Fontechevade  remains  date  from  the  Last  Inter- 
glacial, about  100,000  years  ago  plus  or  minus  a  few  thousand  years. 

Of  course,  this  leaves  a  great  deal  of  time  unaccounted  for.  The 
Hominoidea  may  have  become  a  separate  branch  of  the  primates 
as  far  back  as  the  Ofigocene,  roughly  30,000,000  years  ago.  Then 
we  see  this  development  through  Proconsul  and  similar  Miocene  forms, 
about  10,000,000  or  15,000,000  years.  There  follows  an  enormous 
gap,  including  the  whole  Pliocene,  during  which  occurred  the  basic 

164     -     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

steps  of  iliac  evolution  that  made  vertical  position  possible.  This  fun- 
damental step  had  already  been  achieved  at  the  time  of  Australo- 
pithecus. Evolution  proceeded  through  various  steps  from  Australo- 
pithecus to  Zinjanthropus,  which  I  estimate  might  be  300,000  to  500,- 
000  years  old.  Leakey  disagrees.  Well,  I  am  willing  to  make  it  600,000  j 
years.  It  is  really  impossible  to  determine  its  age  until  the  African  de- 
posits are  correlated  with  the  deep-sea  cores,  and  that  can  be  done 
only  through  exhaustive  studies  with  pollen  and  similar  techniques. 

How^ell:  The  deep-sea  cores  are  unusually  complete  and  provide 
a  truly  unique  succession  of  events.  As  Emiliani  said,  they  can  be 
measured  to  obtain  climatic  curves.  But  I  think  the  curves  derived 
from  the  Atlantic  and  Caribbean  cores  are  not  well  related  to  what 
is  known  about  the  continental  Pleistocene  stratigraphy.  The  upper 
(recent)  end  of  these  cores  fits  perfectly  and  confirms  everything  that 
is  known  about  continental  sequences;  beyond  the  Last  Interglacial — 
which  lasted  from  100,000  years  ago  or  a  little  more  down  to  65,000 
or  70,000  years  ago — the  curves  seem  to  be  off.  The  Riss  Glacial,  for 
instance,  has  three  very  well-marked  peaks  in  Europe,  but  the  inter- 
pretation of  the  deep-sea  cores  shows  it  with  only  one.  This  throws 
the  whole  scale  off.  It  means  that  the  dates  which  are  said  to  be  about 
300,000  years  ago  and  therefore  to  measure  the  First  Glacial  are,  in 
fact,  probably  measuring  the  very  end  of  the  Mindel  Glacial.  If  this 
interpretation  is  correct,  these  cores  are  incomplete  at  the  lower,  or 
early,  end  of  the  scale.  This  in  turn  means  that  the  Pleistocene  lasted 
nearly  a  million  or  a  million  and  a  half  years — a  length  of  time  that 
is  much  more  reasonable  and  one  which  most  geologists  and  pale- 
ontologists would  prefer.  Although  the  method  is  extremely  useful,  I 
question  the  present  appHcation  of  the  deep-sea  curves  to  the  con- 
tinental sequences. 

Emiliani:  F.  Brandtner  has  worked  on  soil  profiles  in  Austria, 
where  there  are  unusually  complete  soil  sequences.  His  work  shows 
a  perfect  correlation — in  fact,  one  that  looks  almost  too  good — ^with 
the  climatic  oscillations  revealed  by  the  deep-sea  cores  back  to  and 
including  the  so-called  Great  Interglacial,  which  is,  by  definition,  the 

The  Atlantic  and  Caribbean  cores  cover  only  about  300,000  years. 
Work  on  similar  cores  from  the  Pacific,  which  cross  the  Plio-Pleis- 
tocene  boundary,  has  yielded  a  curve  of  decreasing  temperature  from 
the  Pliocene  into  the  First  Glaciation.  This  resulted  in  a  conjectural 
estimate  by  myself  of  about  600,000  years  for  the  Pleistocene.  At  the 
present  time  it  is  a  matter  of  choice  where  you  put  the  beginning  of 
the  Pleistocene,  but  in  the  future  someone  will  find  a  way  to  correlate 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     165 

the  Italian  level  that  was  officially  estabHshed  as  the  Plio-Pleistocene 
boundary  with  these  Pacific  cores. 

Mostly  on  Brandtner's  evidence,  I  beUeve  that  the  proposed  cor- 
relation is  probably  correct  as  far  back  as  the  Great  Interglacial.  The 
fact  that  in  Europe  the  Riss  Glaciation  had  three  peaks  is  of  no  con- 
sequence. There  were  many  peaks  within  the  Wisconsin  Glaciation 
in  North  America,  but  the  deep-sea  cores  do  not  show  this  because 
these  peaks  were  succeeding  each  other  at  intervals  of  about  3,000 
years.  Every  3,000  years  there  was  a  rapid  advance  of  the  ice  and 
then  a  very  rapid  retreat,  and  there  were  four  or  five  such  stages  be- 
tween 25,000  and  12,000  years  ago.  None  of  these  is  shown  in  the 
deep-sea  cores  because  organisms  living  on  the  ocean  floor  sift  the 
mud  and  constantly  rework  the  sediments,  so  that  normal  Globigerina 
ooze  sediments  do  not  show  events  as  close  together  as  3,000  years. 
The  oscillations  during  the  Riss  Glaciation  are  comparable  to  those 
of  the  Wisconsin,  which  are  lost  in  the  deep-sea  cores. 

Leakey:  I  agree  with  Howell  that  the  degree  of  correlation  is  good 
as  far  back  as  100,000  years,  but  beyond  that  it  seems  much  less  satis- 
factory. Enormous  parts  of  the  Pleistocene  cores  must  still  be  undis- 
covered, and  perhaps  what  Emiliani  calls  the  beginning  of  the  Gunz 
glaciation  is,  in  fact,  only  the  beginning  of  the  Mindel  glaciation.  I 
do  not  think  that  his  dates  are  well  established. 

Emiliani:  They  are  not  established  at  all  yet.  First  of  all,  we  will 
have  to  substitute  absolute  data  for  extrapolations. 

Simpson:  I  think  we  should  discuss  the  ecology  of  primitive  man, 
a  subject  on  which  Bates  should  have  some  ideas. 

Bates:  The  only  real  way  to  establish  the  ecology  of  the  hominids 
and  hominines,  of  course,  is  to  reconstruct  their  environmental  rela- 
tions directly,  as  Leakey  is  doing.  At  the  moment,  however,  we  shall 
have  to  extrapolate  and  to  use  comparative  studies  of  contemporary 
primates  to  infer  the  conditions  of  the  past. 

Population  size  is  an  important  factor  in  ecology.  Most  anthro- 
pologists estimate  that  in  a  food-gathering  culture  each  individual 
needs  about  two  square  miles  of  good  territory  to  survive.  Since  the 
amount  of  good  hunting  territory  is  limited,  these  early  populations 
must  have  been  quite  small,  and  the  total  protohominid  or  early  hom- 
inid  population  of  the  globe  could  not  have  been  more  than  a  few 

These  populations  must  have  been  broken  up  into  small  groups. 
Territorial  behavior  is  universal  among  contemporary  primates.  Since 
a  phenomenon  that  is  universal  within  a  group  of  related  animals  can 
be  pushed  far  back  in  time,  we  can  assume  that  protohominids  and 

166     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

early  hominids  followed  a  similar  pattern.  Territoriality  would  have 
several  consequences:  probably  the  breeding  groups  were  broken  up; 
diffusion  may  have  been  slowed  down;  and  conflict  might  tend  to  oc- 
cur between  different  territorial  groups  rather  than  within  the  group. 

Except  for  the  australopithecines  and  "Peking  Man,"  no  fossihzed 
aggregations  of  these  early  populations  have  been  found.  But  the  evi- 
dence from  these  two  exceptions  indicates  the  existence  of  co-opera- 
tive groups  of  a  size  larger  than  the  family.  This  is  what  one  would 
expect  as  a  reasonable  basis  for  human  evolution. 

The  essential  points  of  the  ecology  of  primitive  man  for  human  evo- 
lution are  that  he  was  a  relatively  scarce  animal  living  in  social  groups 
of  perhaps  forty,  fifty,  or  one  hundred  individuals — small  aggrega- 
tions, each  with  its  definite  territory,  and  presumably  showing  clas- 
sical territorial  and  social  relationships. 

There  is  a  great  deal  of  discussion  of  peck-order,  the  Old  Man, 
and  similar  phenomena  by  psychologists.  I  think  this  whole  concept 
of  peck-order  often  comes  from  studies  of  contemporary  pongids, 
whose  behavior  may  have  relatively  little  significance  for  human  evo- 
lution. What  I  understand  from  Sherwood  Washburn,  and  similarly 
from  Ray  Carpenter's  early  work  on  the  howler  monkeys  and  some 
recent  observations  of  the  gorilla,  suggests  that  peck-order  may  be 
largely  an  artifact  of  confinement.  It  has  been  studied  by  S.  Zucker- 
man  in  the  London  Zoo;  and  among  humans  it  shows  itself  very  well 
in  the  kindergarten  and  in  jails.  I  cannot  see  that  it  is  very  basic. 

Leakey:  Primates  are  generally  organized  as  territorial  groups  for 
food-gathering  purposes;  this  is  also  true  of  many  other  animals.  Ter- 
ritorial organization,  however,  is  often  upset  by  seasonal  climatic 
changes,  particularly  extreme  drought,  which  will  bring  together  for 
short  periods  members  of  otherwise  isolated  groups.  For  instance,  a 
group  of  monkeys  with  a  very  strong  territorial  organization  will  keep 
every  other  monkey  of  the  same  species  out  of  their  area  of  a  forest. 
But  when  water  is  in  short  supply,  four  or  five  groups,  sometimes  in- 
cluding different  species,  mingle  at  the  same  watering  place  for  a 
time,  returning  to  their  own  territorial  zone,  once  they  have  drunk. 
I  think  that  the  consequences  of  the  brief  intermingling  of  groups  that 
are  otherwise  territorially  isolated  have  been  overlooked  in  the  past. 

Simpson:  One  topic  which  must,  by  all  means,  be  covered  is  the 
evolution  of  the  brain,  including  instinct  and  learning  as  far  as  these 
are  pertinent  to  biological  studies  of  man.  Rensch  is  an  authority  on 
this  subject,  and  I  shall  ask  him  to  take  over. 

Rensch:  The  phylogenetic  development  of  the  human  brain  may 
be  judged  only  from  a  few  casts  of  brain  cases.  The  Australopithecus 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     167 

cast  described  by  Schepers  shows  a  brain  rather  similar  to  that  of  the 
great  apes,  in  that  the  frontal  lobe  of  the  forebrain  was  not  much  de- 
veloped. The  great  enlargement  of  this  part  of  the  brain  in  Neanderthal 
Man  and  in  Homo  sapiens  was  very  important,  since  it  is  composed 
mainly  of  associative  regions  allowing  much  more  plastic  behavior. 
As  Leakey  said,  the  presence  of  the  motor  speech  center  in  the  Aus- 
tralopithecinae  is  very  improbable,  for  it  is  a  part  of  this  frontal  lobe. 
Otherwise,  I  think,  tools  would  have  been  developed  earher. 

I  think  it  is  of  some  theoretical  importance  that  the  improvement 
of  the  forebrain  took  place  mainly  by  quantitative  steps.  This  was  one 
of  the  reasons  we  studied  anatomical,  histological,  and  functional  dif- 
ferences of  the  brain  among  related  animals  of  different  absolute  sizes 
at  our  Institute  in  MUnster.  We  compared  rats  and  mice,  giant  and 
dwarf  squirrels  or  bats,  large  and  small  races  of  domestic  fowl,  large 
and  small  lizards  and  fishes. 

We  could  tentatively  establish  several  rules.  Particularly  in  larger 
mammals,  the  isocortex  (the  most  complicated  and  progressive  five- 
and  seven-layered  part  of  the  cortex)  grows  faster  (with  positive  al- 
lometry)  than  the  whole  brain  during  the  main  postnatal  growth  pe- 
riod. This  allometry  does  not  always  stay  the  same  during  phylogeny; 
the  allometrical  exponent  is  often  altered.  Normally,  however,  the 
general  tendency  remains  unchanged.  Hence  adults  of  larger  species 
have  a  relatively  larger  isocortex  than  smaller  related  species  and  con- 
sequently have  better  mental  capabilities.  They  can  learn  more  tasks, 
and  more  difficult  tasks,  and  can  retain  for  a  longer  time.  I  believe 
that  the  same  phenomenon  occurred  when  man  originated;  the  iso- 
cortex was  enlarged  because  of  its  positively  allometrical  growth.  Such 
quantitative  steps  of  improvement  were  possible  in  all  levels  of  brain 
increase,  since  spontaneous  plus  mutations  are  common  and  would 
be  selected  for  because  more  plastic  behavior  is  advantageous. 

By  such  quantitative  steps,  however,  new  qualitative  characters 
could  also  arise.  Broca's  region — the  motor  speech  center — is  a  typical 
example.  If  this  region  developed  by  purely  quantitative  increase  in 
the  cortex,  excitations  would  flow  in  from  all  the  neighboring  regions 
— that  of  tone  memory,  those  for  movements  of  tongue  and  lips,  and 
those  from  the  associative  regions  of  the  frontal  and  temporal  lobe. 
Hence  this  new  region  was  preadapted  to  become  a  motor  speech  cen- 
ter. The  development  of  language  allowed  the  formulation  of  more 
abstract  concepts,  labeled  by  words.  It  made  the  exchange  of  personal 
experience  and  the  development  of  traditions  possible.  And  this  was 
the  main  basis  for  the  development  of  human  culture. 

I  believe,  then,  that  the  shift  from  the  more  animal-like  behavior 
of  the  australopithecines  to  more  human  behavior  in  Pithecanthropus 


168     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

and  Homo  was  primarily  effected  by  quantitative  steps.  Would  you 
agree,  Leakey? 

Leakey:  I  think  that  we  have  not  yet  fully  mastered  the  study  of 
brain  casts  and  that  available  casts  of  the  earlier  primates  are  still 
far  too  few  to  make  such  a  study  well  founded.  I  should  say  that  brain 
casts  of  the  South  African  australopithecines  show  distinct  differences 
from  comparable  casts  of  higher  apes;  but  much  more  data  are  needed. 
Later  I  hope  to  send  Rensch  a  brain  cast  of  Zinjanthropus  to  study. 

Simpson:  Hallowell,  have  you  anything  to  say  about  the  evolution 
of  the  brain? 

Hallowell:  Only  a  short  time  ago  this  problem  was  less  well 
defined  than  it  is  now  that  evidence  of  brain  expansion  within  the 
evolution  of  the  hominids  is  clearly  established.  Assuming  an  absolute 
increase  in  the  number  of  neurons  available  or  in  the  space  between 
them,  this  increase  in  size  brings  up  the  problem  of  its  relation  to  the 
sociopsychological  aspects  of  behavioral  evolution  and  the  cultural 
adaptation  characteristic  of  Homo  sapiens.  Even  if  we  do  not  have 
final  solutions  yet,  the  questions  that  Rensch  and  Leakey  raised  are 
among  the  most  important  before  us. 

Howell:  I  doubt  that  the  expansion  of  brain  size  actually  was 
gradual;  probably  this  effect  is  an  artifact  of  the  record.  In  any  case, 
there  was  an  increase  in  size  up  to  65,000  or  70,000  years  ago,  and 
after  that  the  essential  structure  of  the  brain  seems  to  be  maintained, 
although  it  may  be  arranged  in  a  slightly  different  form. 

During  the  Middle  Pleistocene  there  was  a  gradual  increase  in  the 
size  of  the  brain  and  certain  changes  in  form.  These  changes  included 
great  expansion  of  certain  association  areas  of  the  parietal  and  upper 
temporal  regions  and,  as  far  as  we  know,  were  associated  with  the 
expansion  of  memory,  learning  from  experience,  and  the  storing-up 
of  information.  These  were  also  related  to  the  reception  and  transmis- 
sion of  speech.  Within  the  coming  years  there  will  be  major  advances 
in  this  field,  providing  answers  to  problems  that  can  only  be  posed 

Leakey:  The  evidence  available  indicates  that,  even  in  persons  of 
comparable  body  weight,  absolute  brain  size  is  not  a  controlling  factor 
in  ability,  which  is  connected  with  the  quality  of  the  brain.  I  think 
my  friend  Rensch  really  agrees  with  this.  Some  British  studies  in  which 
I  had  a  part  showed  that  the  brain  size  of  leading  scientists  was  often 
much  less  than  that  of  pugilists.  Looking  at  those  sitting  around  this 
table,  I  can  see  a  tremendous  variety  of  absolute  brain  sizes;  and  I 
stress  that  quality,  rather  than  brain  size,  is  important. 

Bates:  It  may  take  more  intelligence  to  be  a  pugilist. 

Leakey:  That  is  possible. 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     169 

Rensch:  Of  course,  the  phylogeny  of  the  human  forebrain  involved 
quahtative  changes,  but  these  could  have  originated  by  quantitative 
steps.  All  the  special  cells  of  the  human  cortex — the  pyramidal,  gran- 
ular, bifurcated,  star-shaped,  and  compass  cells — are  also  found  in 
the  cortex  of  monkeys.  In  the  brain  of  Homo  only,  have  certain  re- 
gions and  areas  been  added,  and  these  are  characterized  only  by  spe- 
cial increase  in  the  number  and  density  of  neurons  and  cell  layers — 
a  difference  that  can  originate  by  quantitative  steps. 

Leakey:  We  shall  have  to  agree  to  differ. 

Simpson:  I  am  going  to  expedite  our  discussion  by  mentioning  that 
from  his  most  remote  ancestry  man  has  been  subject  to  the  same  genetic 
factors  of  evolution  as  those  discussed  yesterday.  Undoubtedly,  man 
is  still  subject  to  these  and  is  still  changing  in  response  to  them,  al- 
though, of  course,  the  situation  has  become  complicated  by  other  fac- 

Next  I  shall  ask  Bates  if  he  wants  to  add  to  what  he  has  already 
said  about  ecology. 

Bates:  I  would  like  to  interject  Harry  Harlow's  idea  that  in  look- 
ing at  man  we  confuse  capability  with  accomplishment  and  that  a 
rather  sUght  anatomical  shift  in  the  brain,  in  instincts,  and  so  on  can 
lead  to  the  beginning  of  culture,  which  then  makes  an  enormous  dif- 
ference. As  an  animal,  man  is  not  particularly  unique,  but  as  a  cul- 
ture-bearer he  is  tremendously  different. 

Considering  man  as  an  ecological  agent  over  his  evolutionary  his- 
tory, it  seems  to  me  that  a  very  curious  thing  has  happened.  Through- 
out this  whole  period  and  now  at  an  accelerating  rate,  man  has  been 
removing  himself  from  particular  biological  communities  so  that  he 
no  longer  belongs  to  a  biological  community  in  any  sense.  The  tend- 
ency of  civilized  man  and  food-producing  man  has  been  to  eliminate 
competitors  and  to  narrow  down  food  chains.  These  effects  make  man 
a  very  interesting  animal  from  an  ecological  point  of  view. 

Simpson:  It  has  often  been  said  that  man  is  pedomorphic.  The  idea 
of  pedomorphism  is  that  juvenile  characters  of  an  animal  are  some- 
times carried  over  into  the  adult  state  and,  as  time  goes  on,  more  and 
more  juvenile  characters  come  to  characterize  the  adult.  It  has  been 
suggested  that  human  adults  somewhat  more  closely  resemble  a  juve- 
nile ape  than  an  adult  ape;  and  therefore  the  suggestion  that  man  is 
a  sort  of  pedomorphic  ape,  or  at  least  a  pedomorphic  primate,  has 
become  quite  popular.  One  very  often  finds  it  in  textbooks.  Perhaps 
Waddington  can  give  us  his  ideas  on  this  subject. 

Waddington:"i  can  speak  only  from  the  point  of  view  of  general 

170     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

biology  rather  than  from  that  of  human  embryology.  The  concept  of 
pedomorphosis  seems  to  come  from  the  early  days  of  evolutionary 
theory,  when  biologists  tried  to  explain  development  by  saying  it  was 
influenced  by  phylogeny  or  reflected  the  phylogeny  of  the  group.  Bi- 
ologists today  think  of  embryonic  development  as  being  produced  by 
the  interaction  of  the  genes  in  the  fertilized  egg  with  the  environment. 
We  consider  new  steps  in  evolution  the  result  of  modifications  of 
ontogenetic  development,  but  in  general  we  would  not  suggest  any 
direct  causal  relationship  between  the  phylogeny  of  the  group  and 
the  individual  ontogenetic  development.  In  my  opinion,  the  whole 
sphere  of  discourse  to  which  the  word  "pedomorphosis"  belongs  is 
rather  old-fashioned.  I  would  not  be  at  all  surprised  to  find  that  some 
features  of  the  present  human  adult  may  be  compared  with  juvenile 
features  of  our  ancestral  forms  and  that  in  other  features  the  relation 
may  be  the  other  way  around.  But  in  evolution  one  has  to  deal  with 
all  sorts  of  modifications  of  developmental  sequences  item  by  item 
rather  than  with  general  alterations  of  the  entire  sequence  as  a  whole. 

Simpson:  That  seems  very  sensible.  Howell,  do  you  have  anything 
to  add? 

Howell:  I  agree  completely.  As  Waddington  suggested,  this  prob- 
lem can  be  approached  in  a  much  more  fruitful  way;  and  I  think  his 
own  studies  on  subhuman  organisms  have  shown  this. 

A  more  detailed  understanding  of  different  patterns  of  growth  is 
needed.  Physical  anthropologists  are  just  at  the  point  where,  with 
sufficient  studies  on  living  hominoids  and  with  a  better  fossil  record, 
they  can  put  into  clearer  perspective  differences  that,  at  one  time  or 
another,  have  been  attributed  to  pedomorphism,  neotony,  and  other 
catch-all  phrases  that  are  loosely  used  to  cover  phenomena  about  whose 
mechanisms  we  are  essentially  ignorant. 

Simpson:  Perhaps  we  should  move  on  into  the  area  of  overlap 
with  Panels  Four  and  Five  and  thus,  in  closing  this  panel,  form  a 
bridge  to  these.  I  should  hke  to  make  the  point  that  we  are  looking 
at  cultural  evolution  from  the  biological  standpoint  and  that  cultural 
evolution,  after  all,  is  also  a  biological  adaptation. 

Hallowell:  Several  points  touched  on  in  this  panel  indicate  a 
need  to  phrase  some  of  these  problems  in  terms  of  a  preadaptive  stage. 
This  approach  fits  in  with  Simpson's  idea  that,  since  man  is  not  only 
an  animal  but  a  primate,  the  cultural  adaptation  studied  in  anthro- 
pology must,  in  the  last  analysis,  be  interpreted  as  an  evolutionary 

Bates  mentioned  ecological  adjustment.  I  think  that  in  this  con- 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     •     171 

nection  we  need  more  information  about  social  organization  among 
the  living  primates.  If  we  break  down  the  terms  "social"  and  "social 
organization,"  we  can  study  primate  groups  in  terms  of  role  differ- 
entiation, which  H.  S.  Jennings  years  ago  pointed  to  as  the  basis  of 
any  kind  of  social  organization.  If  some  such  concept  as  "role  organ- 
ization" is  used,  then  I  think  the  dominance  gradient  becomes  one 
aspect  of  role  differentiation;  and,  as  you  know,  there  are  experts  in 
role  theory  among  sociologists.  We  might  consider  the  social  structure 
of  non-human  primates  a  preadaptive  stage. 

Incidentally,  I  understand  that  systematic  studies  at  the  Japan  Mon- 
key Center  have  shown  this  dominance  gradient  to  be  directly  related 
to  the  socialization  of  new  eating  habits.  Here  again,  a  phase  of  adap- 
tive social  life  among  non-human  primates  involves  social  transmis- 
sion of  habits. 

It  seems  to  me  that  cultural  adaptation  could  not  have  developed 
in  hominid  evolution  outside  the  context  of  a  system  of  social  action. 
The  complete  antithesis  would  be  to  assume  that  any  kind  of  cultural 
adaptivity  could  have  developed  among  soUtary  animals.  Thus  some 
kind  of  organized  social  existence  must  be  a  preadaptive  stage  to  cul- 
tural adaptivity.  This  development,  in  turn,  could  not  have  taken 
place  without  certain  organic  developments,  particularly  the  expan- 
sion of  the  brain,  which  in  the  end  made  cultural  adaptation  possible 
through  symbolic  mediation. 

Bates:  The  co-ordination  of  hand  and  eye  involved  in  chipping  a 
flint  enables  you  to  learn  how  to  fly  an  airplane. 

Simpson:  Waddington,  I  don't  think  we  should  close  without  ask- 
ing you  to  elaborate  on  some  of  your  ideas,  particularly  your  sugges- 
tion that,  in  culture,  receiving  is  as  important  as  transmission. 

Waddington:  One  of  the  problems  to  consider  in  the  evolution 
of  man  is  the  relation  between  the  specifically  human  evolutionary  sys- 
tem and  the  general  biological  evolutionary  system.  The  latter  is  de- 
pendent on  genetic  transmission  through  the  chromosomes,  the  former 
on  transmission  by  social  mechanisms.  Both  systems  succeed  in  bring- 
ing about  evolution,  and  both  function  at  the  present  day.  However, 
if  you  compare  the  rate  of  advance  which  they  have  produced — for 
instance,  if  you  compare  the  speed  with  which  man,  with  his  specific 
evolutionary  mechanism,  evolved  the  ability  to  fly  by  means  of  ma- 
chines, not  forgetting  the  number  of  miles  per  hour  he  can  go,  with 
the  rate  at  which  reptiles  learned  to  fly — you  can  easily  see  that  the 
human  evolutionary  mechanism  is  astonishingly  rapid.  Perhaps  man 
could  speed  up  his  biological  evolution  by  a  small  factor,  but  it  would 

172     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

be  exceedingly  difficult  and  probably  quite  impossible  to  make  it  into 
a  process  comparable  in  efficiency  with  the  sociogenetic  mechanism 
of  evolution. 

In  fact,  the  biological  process  seems  at  present  to  face  man  more 
with  evolutionary  dangers  than  with  evolutionary  possibilities.  It  carries 
the  danger  of  rapid  evolutionary  disintegration  if  the  process  of  nat- 
ural selection  in  human  populations  gets  out  of  hand;  and  in  com- 
pensation for  this  it  offers  the  possibility  only  of  very  slow  evolutionary 
progress.  The  social  processes  of  evolution,  of  course,  also  carry  dan- 
gers of  regression  as  well  as  of  advance;  but  the  dangers  are  perhaps 
easier  to  see  in  advance  and  to  mitigate,  while  the  possibilities  of  ad- 
vance might  be  very  much  more  rapid  than  those  offered  by  the  bio- 
logical process.  Although  dangers  and  potential  advances  are  offered 
by  both  processes,  it  seems  to  me  that  at  present  our  positive  task  is 
to  concentrate  on  the  development  of  our  sociogenetic  evolution,  while 
not  neglecting  the  negative  task  of  guarding  ourselves  against  the  pos- 
sible harmful  effects  which  could  arise  from  the  biological  mechanism. 

My  second  point  concerns  the  actual  mechanism  by  which  informa- 
tion is  passed  from  one  generation  to  the  next  in  the  sociogenetic  sys- 
tem. I  feel  that  in  the  past  not  enough  attention  has  been  paid  to  con- 
sidering, not  how  this  information  is  transmitted,  but  how  it  comes 
to  be  received.  It  is  no  use  telling  somebody  something  unless  he  is 
willing  to  believe  it.  The  whole  system  of  human  culture  is  based  fun- 
damentally on  a  mechanism  of  communication  and  transmission  that 
requires  people  to  be  brought  up  in  such  a  way  that  they  develop  a 
mental  setup  which  leads  them  to  be  ready  to  believe  others.  They 
may  not  like  what  they  are  told;  and  at  some  stage  they  may  test  it, 
find  it  is  all  nonsense,  and  reject  it;  but  that  is  a  secondary  process. 
Perhaps  the  testing  of  transmitted  information  corresponds  to  natural 
selection,  but,  before  it  can  operate,  there  must  be  something  that  cor- 
responds to  heredity.  Ideas  or  statements  must  be  reliably  transmitted 
before  they  can  be  tested. 

Now  the  requirements  for  a  mechanism  that  will  transmit  some- 
thing so  that  it  is  received  at  the  other  end  need  much  more  thought 
than  they  have  had.  I  have  never  really  seen  this  properly  discussed, 
and  what  follows  are  my  own  personal  and  tentative  ideas.  As  far  as 
I  can  see,  the  molding  of  the  newborn  human  individual  into  a  being 
ready  to  believe  what  it  is  told  seems  to  involve  many  very  peculiar 
processes,  which  can  be  explained  only  in  terms  of  such  notions  as 
the  formation  of  the  superego  and  the  repression  of  the  id.  Whether 
notions  of  this  kind  are  true  in  detail  or  not,  the  molding  of  the  baby 
into  a  transmission-receiver  seems  a  difficult  and  complicated  and 
even  slapdash  process,  and  not  at  all  what  one  might  have  thought 

PANEL  THREE:  MAN  AS  AN  ORGANISM     ■     173 

out  if  one  had  set  out  to  design  this  job.  A  frequent  result  of  the  process 
seems  to  be  that  people  believe  much  too  much  and  believe  it  much 
too  strongly.  The  process  that  evolution  has  provided  us  for  doing 
the  job  seems  often  to  lead  to  considerable  exaggeration  of  the  ability 
to  believe. 

However  that  may  be,  it  seems  clear  that  any  social  transmission 
of  information  must  depend  on  the  formation  of  people  ready  to  re- 
ceive it.  That  means  that  their  minds  must  be  so  built  that  they  accept 
information  coming  to  them  from  outside.  In  man  this  readiness  to 
accept  is  produced  by  a  mechanism  that  involves  the  formation  within 
the  mind  of  mental  systems  that  carry  authority  and  can  therefore  be 
beUeved.  Now  the  mental  system  that  carries  the  greatest  authority 
and  can  be  believed  most  thoroughly  is  the  set  of  beliefs  and  notions 
we  categorize  as  "ethical."  The  good  is  that  which  we  regard  as  hav- 
ing the  greatest  authority  in  determining  the  way  in  which  we  should 
spend  our  lives. 

The  point  I  wish  to  make  is  that  the  appearance  within  man  of 
ethical  belief  is  a  result  of  the  processes  that  mold  him  into  a  being 
capable  of  acting  as  a  receiver  of  socially  transmitted  information.  I 
dare  say  it  might  be  possible  to  conceive  of  molding  man  into  an  in- 
formation receiver  in  some  way  other  than  the  particular  method  by 
which  the  process  actually  occurs  in  the  human  race  at  present.  If  the 
psychoanalysts  are  to  be  believed,  the  process  we  now  use  is  more 
eccentric  than  one  would  have  thought  possible.  But  I  think  that  some 
sort  of  system  by  which  the  mind  comes  to  be  willing  to  believe  what 
it  is  told  is  necessary.  That  means  that  there  would  have  to  be  formed 
within  the  mind  some  sort  of  authority-bearing  system.  Therefore,  any 
being  capable  of  sociogenetic  evolution  of  the  kind  that  man  has  de- 
veloped would  also  have  to  entertain  ethical  or  quasi-ethical  beliefs. 

So  I  think  that  there  is  an  absolutely  essential  connection  between 
human  evolution,  based  on  the  specifically  human  sociogenetic  mech- 
anism, and  the  existence  of  such  things  as  beliefs  about  ethics  and 
values.  That  man  is  an  ethical  being  is  an  absolutely  essential  part  of 
the  workings  of  his  characteristic  evolutionary  machinery. 

Simpson:  Rensch,  would  you  be  willmg  to  suggest  what  you  think 
man's  biological  future  might  be? 

Rensch:  Well,  it  is  a  bad  job  to  be  a  prophet.  I  believe  that  in 
many  respects  our  somatic  development  has  come  to  a  standstill,  al- 
though selection  is  still  operating  to  some  extent.  Particularly,  I  doubt 
that  the  brain  will  expand  further,  since  there  will  be  no  selection 
pressure  in  this  direction.  The  main  alterations  will  perhaps  be  caused 
by  a  great  increase  in  recombination  of  genes. 

On  the  other  hand,  man's  future  seems  unpredictable,  since  we  are 

174     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  only  living  beings  capable  of  directing  our  own  future  evolution. 
And  it  will  be  absolutely  necessary  that  we  should  try  to  do  this.  As 
Waddington  suggested,  the  steady  mutations  that  produce  mainly  bad 
characters  will  cause  a  regressive  development.  I  believe  that  it  is  the 
duty  of  biologists  to  discuss  the  problems  of  the  human  future,  even 
if  this  is  not  exact  science  but  only  speculation. 

I  would  like  to  raise  a  final  point.  We  had  no  opportunity  to  dis- 
cuss human  instincts,  which  are  of  great  importance.  I  believe  it  to 
be  the  typical  human  fate  that  our  inborn  drives  always  conflict  with 
the  actions  of  so-called  "free  will."  One  sees  this  most  clearly  in  our 
reproductive  drives,  which  are  similar  to  those  of  other  mammals. 
The  double  motivation  of  human  actions  by  such  drives  and  by  in- 
sight sometimes  leads  to  conflict,  in  this  case  to  adultery  for  instance, 
or  illegitimacy,  or  to  steaUng  children  because  of  the  mighty  maternal 
instinct.  Of  course,  human  beings  normally  act  according  to  certain 
customs,  morals,  and  ethics;  but  the  instincts  I  mentioned  are  also 
an  important  component  of  our  motivations.  Hence,  to  avoid  future 
conflicts,  we  must  try  to  channel  these  drives  into  harmless  directions, 
as  we  already  divert  our  instincts  for  fighting  and  for  rank  to  football 
and  the  like. 

Looking  forward  to  the  human  future,  I  would  like  to  repeat  that 
it  is  a  bad  job  to  be  a  prophet.  The  matter  is  so  compUcated  that  I 
would  say  that  the  future  is  unpredictable. 

Simpson:  I  shall  ask  Hallowell  whether  he  would  add  anything 
about  the  possible  cultural  future  of  man. 

Hallov/ell:  I  would  rather  comment  on  Waddington's  remarks.  I 
think  that  it  is  important  to  recognize  as  differentia  of  this  cultural 
adjustment  of  man  not  only  that  we  do  have  social  systems  with  cul- 
tural transmission  but  that  these  are  systems  of  social  action,  where 
you  have  a  normative  orientation  in  all  aspects  of  life.  Human  societies 
function  in  terms  of  acquired  values,  which  are  part  of  the  socializa- 
tion process  of  the  individual,  and  this  becomes  part  of  the  particular 
kind  of  adaptation  we  have  made.  So,  for  the  system  to  function,  so- 
cial sanctions  are  necessary  and  information  or  knowledge  must  be 
transmitted  in  terms  of  beliefs  held  by  the  individual. 

Simpson:  I  think  that  that  is  a  very  good  final  word.  I  am  not  go- 
ing to  try  to  summarize.  We  are  covering  such  a  tremendous  topic 
that  the  whole  session  has  to  be  a  sunmiary;  so  I  shall  simply  declare 
the  meeting  adjourned. 


Chairmen:  Ralph  W.  Gerard  and  Ilza  Veith 

Panelists:  Henry  W.  Brosin;  Macdonald  Critchley;  W.  Horsley 
Gantt;  A.  Irving  Hallowell;  Ernest  Hilgard;  Sir  Julian 
Huxley;  Alexander  von  Muralt;  N.  Tinbergen 

Topics  for  Discussion 

1 .  Behavioral  science. — Darwin's  work  has  had  a  tremendous  impact 
on  the  behavioral  sciences.  These,  in  turn,  have  contributed  anal- 
ysis and  experiment  pointing  up  problems  in  the  evolution  of  brain 
and  mind.  Past  benefits,  present  gaps,  and  future  applications  are 
seen  in  these  areas,  to  be  exempHfied  by  the  panelists  in  the  several 

2.  Orientation  and  methodology. — The  evolution  of  mind  and  be- 
havior can  (must?)  be  studied  in  the  same  manner  as  that  of  any 
other  organic  function.  New,  but  compatible,  problems  and  criteria 
and  methods  are  involved. 

3.  Mind. — The  relation  of  subjective  to  objective  description  is  espe- 
cially important  in  comparing  humans  and  subhumans  as  to  mind 
and  behavior.  Many  aspects  of  mental  function  appear  in  the  ani- 
mal world,  such  as  organizing  stimuli  into  perceptions,  developing 
emotional  attitudes,  performing  "purposeful"  acts,  using  and  even 
making  tools,  learning  by  imitation,  achieving  abstractions,  per- 
haps operating  with  values.  It  is  not  a  necessary  consequence,  how- 
ever, that  animals  possessing  such  attributes  have  consciousness 
( awareness,  self-awareness? ) . 

4.  Culture. — Other  manifestations  of  mind  are  harder  to  trace  below 
man,  from  culture  back  to  protoculture.  A  useful  formulation  of 
successive  stages  is  the  following:  learning,  signaling,  communica- 
tion between  individuals,  transmission  of  learning  through  a  group 
and  on  to  another  generation,  use  of  symboHc  communications, 
self-awareness,  and  group  standards  and  morals.  At  the  civilized 


176     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

level  these  are  developed  as  language  and  ideas,  applied  to  man's 
understanding  of  his  world  and  himself  in  science,  art,  and  phi- 

5.  The  biological  basis. — The  brain  has  evolved  in  complexity  of 
structure  and  function,  as  behavior  has  evolved  in  individual  rich- 
ness and  group  interrelatedness  (culture).  The  improvements  in 
the  neural  machine  and  its  performance  are  related;  indeed,  cul- 
ture, involving  such  performances  as  tool  using,  has  probably  urged 
on  the  biological  enhancement  of  the  nervous  system. 

6.  The  sociological  basis. — With  the  advent  of  civilization,  genetic 
evolution  has  been  largely  supplemented  by  cultural  evolution;  the 
new  idea  does  not  await  the  mutated  gene.  Man  is  now  in  a  posi- 
tion to  supplement  his  information  processing  as  he  did  earlier  his 
muscles  and  senses,  and  he  can  control  even  his  genetic  future  and 
perhaps  guide  the  biological  evolution  of  his  brain.  Here  valid 
scientific  knowledge  merges  into  value  judgments,  and  the  danger 
of  maladaptive  developments  is  great. 

The  Discussion 

Gerard:  Our  general  assignment  is  to  trace  the  evolution  of  mind, 
behavior,  and  brain — an  area  that  has  been  rather  neglected  in  the 
ordinary  disciplines  of  evolution,  probably  because  behavior  leaves 
few  fossils.  Under  items  1  and  2  of  the  agenda,  we  shall  examine  the 
assumption  that  mind  can  be  studied  in  the  ordinary  mode  of  biological 
science,  although  involving  rather  different  problems.  We  shall  then 
move  on  to  examine  the  changes  through  evolutionary  history  in  the 
behavioral  capacities  of  organisms — the  increasing  richness,  speed, 
sensitivity,  and  variability  of  behavior — and  see  what  inferences  can 
be  made  as  to  what  is  happening  to  mind  along  with  these  behavioral 
changes.  In  item  3  we  shall  look  particularly  at  those  aspects  of  mental 
function  that  seem  clearly  present  below  man;  in  item  4,  at  those  about 
which  there  would  be  considerably  more  doubt.  This  is  the  same  prob- 
lem of  continuity  versus  discontinuity,  or  the  size  of  the  gap  that  de- 
velops, which  the  previous  panels  faced.  In  items  5  and  6,  we  turn 
to  the  mechanisms  or  the  basis  of  this  evolution  in  behavior:  in  5, 
paying  particular  attention  to  the  development  of  the  bodily  organiza- 
tion of  the  biological  machine,  and  in  6,  paying  attention  to  the  epior- 
ganismic  or  social  level  and  the  influence  of  culture,  transmitted  sym- 
bols, and  the  like.  So  much  for  our  general  orientation  and  planning. 

Every  organism — indeed,  every  species  or  every  system  of  any  kind 
— is  engaged  throughout  its  life  in  riding  two  rails:  the  "desired" — 
the  equiUbrium  state  or  direction  or  goal  toward  which  it  is  moving 


— and  the  actual,  or  real.  The  environment  is  continually  disturbing 
the  flow  in  time,  perturbing  the  system;  and  it  is  obvious  that  the 
smaller  the  change  an  organism  can  detect,  the  more  sensitive  its  per- 
ception of  an  impending  disturbance  and  the  more  rapid  the  adjusting 
responses  it  can  marshal — in  other  words,  the  better  it  can  handle 
information — the  more  effectively  will  it  do  this  "tracking"  job  and 
keep  on  the  line  it  wants  to  travel. 

Earlier  panels  brought  out  that  in  metabolic  processes  and  basic 
reproductive  processes  there  has  been  very  little  evolutionary  change 
from  microbe  to  man.  But  behavior  has  evolved  explosively;  and  in 
man  there  are  great  riches  of  capacities  and  mechanisms.  This  is  really 
the  basis  on  which  organisms  are  ordered  as  higher  or  lower  by  bi- 

The  reaction  to  the  environment  was  initially  and  primarily  to  the 
physical  environment;  in  later  evolution,  more  importantly  to  the 
biotic  environment;  and  in  still  later  stages  of  evolution,  and  not  only 
in  man,  to  the  social  environment. 

All  systems — from  molecule  through  cell,  organ,  individual,  small 
group,  to  larger  groups  of  species  or  communities — have  three  major 
attributes:  a  certain  "being,"  or  architecture;  a  certain  "behaving," 
or  function;  and  a  certain  "becoming,"  or  history,  that  involves  evo- 
lution, development,  and  learning  at  different  stages.  Our  problem  is 
particularly  involuted  because  we  are  really  concerned  with  the  "be- 
coming" of  behavior.  This  means  that  at  each  stage  we  must  be  con- 
cerned with  whether  we  are  dealing  with  a  racial,  evolved  attribute 
common  to  all  members  of  the  species;  with  something  that  is  fairly 
common  because  of  the  uniformity  of  embryonic  or  like  development; 
or  with  something  quite  distinctive  and  depending  on  the  individual 
unique  experience  of  the  single  organism.  Thus  species  evolution,  com- 
mon development,  and  individual  learning  play  together  on  the  final 
behavior.  It  is  exciting  that  mounting  evidence  relates  these  to  the 
nucleotides.  The  fixation  of  experience  at  the  racial  level,  which  we 
learned  in  earlier  sessions  depends  on  changes  in  the  RNA  molecule 
in  reproductive  cells,  is  paralleled  in  the  fixation  of  individual  experi- 
ence— that  is,  learning — by  comparable  changes  in  RNA  molecules 
in  the  neurones  of  the  brain. 

[The  above  considerations  indicate  that  the  panel  faces  a  number 
of  questions,  and  it  is  understandable  that  the  disciplines  represented 
here  are  far-flung,  ranging  from  ethology  to  the  history  of  medicine.]  * 

[There  is,  first,  the  basic  question  of  subjective  and  objective,  and 
the  validity  of  interpreting  between  these  on  the  basis  of  observable 

*  These  bracketed  paragraphs  were  omitted  during  the  panel  for  lack  of  time  and 
were  submitted  in  writing  after  the  session. 

178     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

evidence.  Closely  related  is  the  use  of  causal  notions,  particularly  of 
statements  crossing  between  the  languages  of  mind  and  body.  An 
idea  cannot  fire  a  neuron,  nor,  in  a  rigorous  sense,  can  ether  produce 
unconsciousness.  Part  of  the  same  problem  is  the  use  of  such  in- 
tervening variables  as  "consciousness,"  "attention,"  or  "will."  A 
third  issue  concerns  quantitative  measurement  versus  qualitative  de- 
scription or  pattern  specification;  and  the  closely  related  problem  of 
the  precipitate  rise  of  complexity  (and  of  information)  as  we  move 
to  the  higher-level  systems  of  the  Uving  and  the  social.] 

[Although  we  shall  not  explicitly  discuss  the  remaining  three  topics, 
I  list  them  for  completeness.  First:  What  is  the  role  of  individual  ex- 
perience in  "becoming"?  The  newborn  eye  and  brain  must  see  pat- 
terns in  order  to  develop  the  capacity  for  pattern  vision;  and  even 
in  very  early  development  the  actual  anatomical  patterns  of  nerve 
paths  are  determined  by  their  functional  connection  with  other  parts 
of  the  nervous  system  or  the  periphery.  Natural  selection  can  operate, 
if  not  on  experience  as  such,  certainly  on  the  ability  to  profit  by  ex- 

[Next,  what  environmental  changes  constitute  stimuli?  Evolution  has 
not  increased  the  sensitivity  of  receptors  to  all  environmental  stimuli 
or  stresses.  Only  certain  radiations,  movements,  substances,  etc.  have 
carried  meaning  to  organisms — indicating  food  or  danger  or  giving 
guidance  or  the  like — and  so  have  helped  direct  evolution.  Worry 
requires  a  worrier;  stresses  are  such  only  if  the  organism  is  coded  to 
them  and  they  carry  meaning.  This  is  comparable  to  the  encultura- 
tion  of  the  young  in  a  society;  perhaps  even  the  poet  is  a  kind  of  sensi- 
tive social  reactor.] 

[Finally,  there  is  the  relation  between  the  role  of  an  organism  as 
a  total  individual  and  as  unit  or  member  of  some  superordinate  group 
— a  society  or  ecogroup — and  its  behavior.  There  is  a  continuing  con- 
flict between  the  inborn  rigid  responses,  the  simple  motor  and  the 
more  complex  emotional  reflexes,  and  the  more  flexible  learned  be- 
haviors, involving  reason  and  adaptation.  The  former  depend  over- 
whelmingly on  inborn  neural  mechanisms,  those  of  the  brain  stem 
and  the  limbic  system  of  the  cerebrum,  which  have  changed  little  over 
mammalian  or  vertebrate  evolution;  the  latter  depend  primarily  on 
the  cerebrum  and  mainly  the  neocortex,  which  have  changed  vastly 
in  mammals  and  particularly  in  primates.  Man's  limbic  system  is  ap- 
proximately the  same  in  size  and  organization  as  that  of  a  cat  or  rabbit; 
his  neocortex  is  incomparably  larger  and  more  complex.] 

With  this  general  introduction,  then,  I  am  going  to  ask  the  mem- 
bers of  the  panel  to  give  their  own  views  on  this  problem  of  the  ap- 
proach to  the  mind;  and  I  hope  they  will  also  indicate  the  kinds  of 
methodology  that  their  disciplines  offer. 


Brosin:  I  am  a  physician,  psychiatrist,  and  psychoanalyst,  inter- 
ested in  Darwinian  evolution  because  of  its  profound  influence  on 
biology  and  the  other  behavioral  sciences  and  therefore  on  my  field 
of  psychiatry,  which  is,  of  course,  related  to  and  dependent  on  all 
these  fields  of  human  behavior. 

One  might  define  or  regard  mental  disorders  as  biological  deviants 
or  failures  in  the  working  of  an  organism.  They  may  range  from  such 
purely  genetic  failures  as  the  single  specific-gene  enzyme  deficiency 
in  the  phenyl-pyruvic  acid-oligophrenias,  or  in  focal  epilepsy,  to  the 
much  more  complex  stress  disorders  or  the  familiar  character  dis- 
orders. Consequently,  our  methods  of  study  must  vary  with  the  data 
we  examine.  The  methods  appropriate  to  astronomy  and  geology  may 
not  be  entirely  satisfactory  for  human  behavior,  particularly  if  we 
include  the  so-called  irrational  components.  In  general,  we  try  to 
use  all  useful  empiric  or  pragmatic  techniques,  from  quantitative  meth- 
ods in  neurophysiology  or  biochemistry  to  methods  that  we  believe 
are  similar  in  all  respects  to  the  natural  history  methods  used  by  Dar- 
win and  employed  in  medicine  and  biology  centuries  before  quantifica- 
tion became  possible. 

We  have  much  reason  to  believe,  with  Darwin,  that  systematic 
study  of  human  behavior,  including  verbal  productions,  dreams,  delu- 
sions, hallucinations,  and  phobias,  is  both  possible  and  productive. 
Verbal  behavior  is  a  vital  part  of  the  total  stream  of  communication, 
including  the  non-lexical  vocal  modifiers  and  the  kinesic  or  body- 
motion  markers  defined  in  the  past  by  Edward  Sapir  and  Leonard 
Bloomfield,  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  which  can  now  be  recorded 
by  film  and  tape.  We  expect  much  more  accurate  delineation  of  these 
systems  and  thereby  should  gain  new  data  and  new  hypotheses.  At 
the  human  interaction  level,  our  units  of  study  are  patterns,  shapes, 
relations,  and  arrangements  rather  than  space  or  time  units.  We  are 
now  looking  forward  to  much  more  inciteful  and  comprehensive  pe- 
riods when  we  shall  have  better  concepts  and  methods  for  dealing  with 
these  complex  units. 

Critchley:  I  am  a  practicing  medical  doctor,  not  a  biologist  or 
a  psychiatrist.  I  am  an  organic  neurologist,  and  as  such  my  interest 
has  been  the  breakdown  of  speech  in  man — that  is,  speech  disorders 
caused  by  brain  injury  and  brain  disease. 

Now,  in  order  for  speech  pathology  to  be  adequate,  it  should  be 
tied  up  with  a  knowledge  of,  or  study  of,  speech  in  the  normal  human 
subject.  I  suppose  that  this  is  the  background  or  context  of  this  par- 
ticular panel  discussion  and  the  reason  we  are  here. 

As  one  primarily  interested  in  language,  I  would  plead  for  the  most 
rigid  employment  always  of  a  terminology  that  is  simple,  clear,  and 
precise.  The  growth  of  ideas  and  of  knowledge  has  so  outstripped 

180     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  growth  of  our  vocabulary  that  there  is  always  a  very  real  danger 
of  lapsing  into  confusion.  The  language  used  by  scientists  runs  the 
risk  of  being  not  fully  comprehended,  not  only  by  the  world  at  large, 
but  even  by  other  scientists  within  the  same  discipline  and,  of  course, 
in  other  disciplines  also. 

The  two  devices  already  used  to  circumvent  this  difficulty  are  in 
themselves  potential  sources  of  error.  One  very  obvious  device  is  for 
science  to  erect  a  vocabulary  as  it  goes  along  by  coining  new  forms, 
rigidly  defining  them,  and  then  always  using  them  in  their  precise 
connotations.  The  alternative  is  either  to  borrow  words  from  lan- 
guage in  common  use  or  else  to  filch  terms  from  the  vocabulary  of 
other  sciences  and  then  to  endow  these  with  our  own  private  mean- 
ing— a  meaning  sometimes  quite  different  from  the  original  and  one 
that  may  differ  widely  from  individual  to  individual.  This  is  a  most 
fertile  source  of  confusion.  Biology,  I  suppose,  is  not  a  conspicuous 
offender,  but  I  am  sure  that  psychiatry,  psychology,  and  philosophy 
are  often  seriously  at  fault  here.  Most  of  our  ordinary  talk  is,  of  course, 
fundamentally  built  upon  metaphor;  but  when  you  find  metaphor 
piled  upon  metaphor  upon  metaphor  again  and  simile  added  to  anal- 
ogy, there  is  a  very  great  tendency  to  lapse  first  into  clichedom,  then 
into  jargon,  and  finally  into  gobbledegook.  Like  Voltaire,  I  would 
suggest  that  each  of  us  should  be  prepared,  if  called  upon,  to  define 
his  terms  at  a  moment's  notice. 

Gerard:  But  please  exercise  that  right  with  caution,  or  we  shall 
never  get  beyond  item  1. 

Gantt:  I  am  from  the  Pavlovian  Laboratory  at  the  Johns  Hopkins 
University,  and  the  psychophysiological  laboratory  in  the  Veterans 
Administration.  I  study  both  normal  and  abnormal  aspects  of  be- 
havior, including  the  causes  of  psychiatric  diseases. 

At  the  present  time  I  am  especially  interested  in  high  blood  pres- 
sure and  the  psychogenic  or  nervous  causes  of  cardiovascular  disease. 
The  methods  I  generally  use  are  those  of  the  conditional  reflex.  In 
support  of  Critchley,  I  may  say  that  this  method  gives  us  precision  and 
a  kind  of  data  less  dependent  on  language. 

I  learned  the  conditional  reflex  method  from  Pavlov.  Just  after  I 
finished  interning,  I  went  to  Russia  with  the  American  Relief  Ad- 
ministration under  Herbert  Hoover,  when  we  were  feeding  ten  million 
Russians  during  the  famine.  I  had  the  honor  of  meeting  Pavlov  there 
six  years  after  he  had  officially  died,  according  to  the  Encyclopaedia 
Britannica,  which  formerly  placed  his  death  at  1916.  I  began  working 
with  Pavlov  to  learn  his  methods  and  continued  for  six  years.  This  is 
my  earliest  remembrance  of  the  feedback  mechanism;  so  I  feel  that 
Pavlov  gave  me  more  than  I  was  providing. 


Hallowell:  I  suppose  I  might  call  myself  a  human  animal  of  a 
different  variety  but  perhaps  of  the  same  species  as  the  gentlemen  who 
have  just  spoken.  I  would  define  myself  as  a  cultural  anthropologist 
with  psychological  interests.  In  the  past,  these  interests  led  me  to  study 
the  relations  of  culture  and  personality  and  in  recent  years  have  led 
to  my  interest  in  problems  involving  the  psychological  dimension  of 
human  evolution. 

For  a  long  time,  anthropologists  have  used  the  possession  of  a  cul- 
tural heritage  as  a  criterion  for  differentiating  man  from  other  animals. 
Problems  of  cultural  and  social  evolution  were  widely  discussed  in 
the  nineteenth  century,  and  we  shall  hear  contemporary  discussion  of 
this  topic  tomorrow  at  the  fifth  panel.  I  think,  however,  that  there  is  a 
gap  in  our  knowledge  of  the  roots  of  a  cultural  mode  of  adjustment  in 
man.  That  is  why  I  used  the  title  "Self,  Society,  and  Culture  in  Phylo- 
genetic  Perspective"  for  my  contribution  to  this  conference.  There  is 
a  psychological  dimension  here.  It  is  difficult  to  investigate,  and  I  fear 
that  my  methods  may  be  relatively  imprecise  compared  with  those  of 
the  other  panelists. 

Veith:  My  field,  the  history  of  medicine,  might  be  thought  of  as 
the  hidden  link  among  all  the  specialties  that  deal  with  evolution,  for 
medical  historians  deal  with  evolution  in  many  different  ways.  With 
the  emphasis  on  medicine,  we  are  concerned  with  the  influence  of  evo- 
lutionary principles  on  medical  thought,  including,  of  course — and 
in  my  case  especially — that  of  psychiatric  thought;  and  we  deal  with 
such  examples  as  the  direct  influence  of  Darwinism  on  the  work  of 
John  HughUngs  Jackson,  Sigmund  Freud,  and  others.  Again  with  the 
emphasis  on  medicine,  we  study  the  evolution  of  physical  and  mental 
diseases  throughout  history;  and  we  try  to  account  for  the  disappear- 
ance of  such  diseases  as  the  mental  and  physical  epidemics  of  the 
Middle  Ages.  We  also  try  to  account  for  the  ascendancy  of  apparently 
new  and  often  equally  menacing  forms  of  disease.  As  medical  his- 
torians with  the  emphasis  on  cultural  and  social  history,  we  try  to  re- 
late scientific  facts  to  their  cultural  environment.  Thus  we  deal  with 
man's  concept  of  creation  and  evolution  before  Darwin  and  with  the 
impact  of  Darwin's  work  on  the  cultural  world  that  followed  him. 

My  own  interests  have  especially  concerned  non- Western — that  is, 
Far  Eastern — evolutionary  reasoning  and  its  relations  to  the  cultural 
and  even  political  development  of  the  Orient.  It  has  been  a  most  en- 
lightening observation  that  in  China  the  human  mind  was  able  to  con- 
ceive of  creation  in  evolutionary  terms  at  least  three  thousand  years 
ago  and  that  some  of  the  greatest  philosophers  emphatically  endowed 
the  lower  orders  of  life  with  mental  faculties  that  approached  the 
human  level. 

182     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Hilgard:  I  am  an  experimental  psychologist.  What  this  means  is 
simply  a  psychologist  who  tries  to  work  on  problems  that  can  be  stud- 
ied in  the  laboratory.  It  is  our  faith  that  this  does  not  limit  us  very 
much,  but  this  faith  has  to  be  justified  by  what  we  do.  My  own  work 
has  been  chiefly  in  learning  and  motivation;  and  if  Critchley  will  per- 
mit me  to  use  some  terms  from  the  vernacular,  I  have  more  recently 
been  working  on  states  of  consciousness  altered  from  the  normal — 
such  as  dreams,  hallucinations,  and  hypnosis. 

The  justification  for  a  psychologist's  being  on  a  panel  about  evolu- 
tion is  clear  enough  from  psychology's  position  between  the  science 
of  biology,  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  social  sciences,  on  the  other.  On 
the  biological  side  is  comparative  psychology.  Physiological  psychol- 
ogy is  simply  one  with  the  biological  sciences,  and  here  the  debt  to 
Darwin  is  clear.  On  the  social  and  personaHty  side,  that  debt  can  also 
be  traced,  largely  through  Darwin's  cousin.  Sir  Francis  Galton,  who 
began  the  studies  of  human  inheritance  and  invented  the  contrast  be- 
tween nature  and  nurture  that  we  use  so  much  in  talking  about  human 

Huxley:  My  approach  to  the  evolution  of  mind  has  been  comple- 
mentary to  Hilgard's.  I  have  always  tried  to  look  at  this  problem  from 
the  point  of  view  of  a  naturalist — the  same  sort  of  attitude  that  Charles 
Darwin  held.  I  first  became  interested  in  this  general  subject  while 
studying  the  courtship  of  birds,  in  asking  myself  what  role  mind  played 
there.  And  as  a  young  man  I  was  very  much  preoccupied  with  the 
development  of  my  own  mind  and  behavior  and  also  with  that  of  my 
fellow  men  and  women.  My  main  concern  throughout  my  biological 
career  has  always  been  evolution,  and  I  have  tried  to  link  the  various 
evolutionary  fields  into  a  unified  picture  through  comparative  study. 

What  has  impressed  me  most — and  I  hope  this  will  come  out  during 
these  discussions — is  that  during  the  course  of  evolution  on  this  planet 
quality  has  somehow  arisen  out  of  quantity,  and  the  subjective  has 
arisen  out  of  the  objective.  And,  of  course,  that  happens  in  the  de- 
velopment of  every  one  of  us,  too.  Another  trend  that  occurs  both  in 
individual  development  and  in  evolution  is  that  the  patterns  of  organi- 
zation of  mind  and  its  associated  behavior  move  to  higher  levels. 
Finally,  one  finds  the  emergence  of  this  or  that  new  quality  or  char- 
acter of  mind,  which  in  turn  affects  later  evolution;  and  mind  seems  to 
have  played  an  increasingly  important  role  as  evolution  went  on. 

VON  Muralt:  I  am  a  man  who  likes  to  stick  electrodes  into  nervous 
material  and  study  the  effects:  that  is,  a  neurophysiologist.  When  the 
morphologist  studies  life,  he  finds  an  enormous  variety  of  form  and 
function,  while  the  physiologist,  on  the  other  hand,  is  surprised  by  the 

PANEL  FOUR:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  MIND      ■     183 

great  uniformity  of  the  basic  mechanisms.  I  should  Uke  to  give  an  ex- 
ample. We  are  studying  such  distantly  related  animals  as  the  North 
Atlantic  squid,  the  electric  eel,  the  torpedo,  the  spider  crab,  the  frog, 
the  cat,  and  the  monkey.  We  find  that  the  only  form  of  sending  a 
message  through  the  nervous  system  is  the  nervous  impulse,  which  is 
exactly  the  same  in  the  squid  as  in  the  monkey.  We  fimd  only  two 
modes  of  conduction  of  this  impulse:  in  the  lower  animals,  continuous 
conduction;  in  the  higher  animals,  conduction  in  jumps,  which  we 
call  "saltatory  conduction."  Studying  the  chemical  substances  used 
for  transmission  throughout  the  animal  kingdom,  we  find,  generally 
speaking,  only  two:  actylcholine  and  neuroadrenalin.  And  as  far  as 
we  know  today,  the  only  substance  used  in  nervous  systems  for  the 
supply  of  energy  is  adenosine  triphosphate,  ATP,  with  its  energy-rich 
phosphate  bond. 

How  did  this  uniformity  evolve?  There  are  several  possibilities. 
Possibly  these  basic  living  mechanisms  are  protected  in  the  genetic 
background,  so  that  no  mutations  and  no  changes  can  occur.  That  is, 
they  are  set  apart  from  evolution.  Another  rather  interesting  possibility 
is  that  this  uniformity  of  biochemical  and  biophysical  mechanisms  may 
be  the  result  of  evolution;  and  here  we  are  starting  to  think  of  evolu- 
tion as  two-dimensional.  We  have  morphological  evolution  from  the 
primitive  form  up  to  the  higher,  more  complex  forms;  and  in  the  op- 
posite direction  we  have  evolution  from  a  rather  complicated  biochemi- 
ical  and  physical  background  to  a  very  simple  pattern,  which  is  now 
uniform  for  the  whole  animal  kingdom. 

L.  J.  Henderson's  book.  The  Fitness  of  the  Environment,  showed 
that  the  physical  factors  on  this  earth  are  apparently  such  that  life 
was  possible  because  of  very  specific  and  unique  qualities  of  water, 
carbon  dioxide,  the  tetravalent  carbon  atom,  and  the  like.  Perhaps 
this  limited  number  of  chemical  possibilities  is  a  principle  for  selection 
that  has  created  this  uniformity  throughout  the  basic  mechanisms. 
This  is  one  of  the  problems  with  which  the  group  of  neurophysiologists 
jl  represent  here  is  concerned. 

Tinbergen:  I  am  a  zoologist  and  as  such,  of  course,  became  in- 
terested in  how  animals  survive  and  manage  to  reproduce  and  even 
manage  to  improve  themselves.  Very  soon  it  became  clear  to  me  that 
behavior  is  one  component  in  the  functional  systems  by  which  animals 
jmanage  this.  My  work,  therefore,  has  involved  trying  to  find  out  how 
behavior  is  organized  in  different  animals,  how  its  effects  aid  survival, 
and  how  behavior  has  evolved  in  relation  to  the  whole  animal.  This 
zoological  science  of  animal  behavior  is  usually  called  "ethology"  in 
Europe.  I  should  like  to  say  that  my  colleagues  and  I  do  not  consider 

184     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

ethology  just  the  result  of  talking  about  releasers  and  imprinting  but 
would  rather  define  it  more  widely  and  say  that  ethology  aims  at  being 
a  biological  science  of  animal  behavior. 

Now  this,  we  realize,  is  an  extremely  tall  order.  I  remember  that 
Dobzhansky  emphasized  how  much  we  do  not  know.  Without  sound- 
ing too  pessimistic,  I  wish  to  emphasize  that  ethologists  more  than 
agree  with  him;  for  our  situation,  we  very  strongly  feel,  is  still  worse: 
very  often  we  do  not  even  know  what  it  is  that  we  wish  to  find  out. 
Ethology  is  struggling  to  become  a  biological  science.  That  may  sound 
pessimistic  and  perhaps  even  defeatist;  but  I  think  it  is  necessary  to 
dampen  our  own  sometimes  rash  enthusiasm,  which  has  played  tricks 
on  us  in  the  past. 

We  do  know  that  the  intact  animal  in  its  natural  surroundings  is 
a  hugely  complex  system.  We  feel  very  strongly  the  need  for  analysis, , 
and  we  realize  more  and  more  that  this  analysis  has  only  just  begun, 
that  our  subject  matter  is  extremely  complex  even  in  so-called  very 
simple  animals.  In  that  respect,  of  course,  ethology  is  far  behind  mor- 
phology. The  study  of  evolution  has  often  used  morphological  criteria. 
When  we  wish  to  use  behavioral  criteria,  we  feel  we  are  lagging  far 
behind,  just  because  we  have  not  yet  analyzed  these  systems  as  fully 
as  the  morphologists  have  theirs.  In  this  panel  with  so  many  different  i 
people,  it  may  be  difficult  to  communicate.  We  speak  very  different  I 
languages;  that  will  be  clear  in  the  course  of  the  discussion.  From  my/ 
side,  I  shall  try  to  overcome  this  diflSculty  and  shall  not  be  too  precise  j 
or  too  pedantic  in  asking  for  an  operational  definition  each  time. 

Gerard:  I  began  my  career  primarily  as  a  neurochemist  and  neuro- 
physiologist  and  have  drifted  over  into  being  a  neurophysiologist  and 
a  behavioral  scientist.  I  am  concerned  with  getting  inside  that  blacks 
box.  We  put  electrodes  into  brains  to  stimulate  the  nerve  cells  and 
see  what  happens — chemically,  electrically,  behaviorally.  We  give 
animals  and  people. drugs  and  make  similar  observations.  The  elec- 
trodes in  particular  brain  regions  also  pick  up  electrical  activity  that 
accompanies  neuron  functions.  This  is  short-circuiting  the  system  from 
input  and  sensation  to  output  and  action  of  some  kind.  Therefore, 
physiologists  are  really  getting  inside  the  stimulus-response  problem. 

Our  first  topic  for  discussion  is  the  subjective  and  the  objective  and 
the  problems  of  methodology. 

Tinbergen:  We  have  no  direct  historical  record  of  behavior,  and 
therefore  we  have  to  compare.  Comparing  animals  with  other  animals 
is,  in  principle,  relatively  easy,  because  we  can  learn  from  the  experi- 
ences of  comparative  anatomy,  which  was  at  least  a  hundred  years 
ahead  of  us.  But  when  comparing  animal  with  human  behavior,  we 


run  into  great  difficulties.  And  again  I  feel  I  have  to  strike  a  cautionary 

We  feel  there  are,  in  principle,  two  types  of  observables  when  deal- 
ing with  behavior.  One  type,  which  includes  the  movements  of  ani- 
mals, can  be  shared  by  different  observers;  we  can  observe  animals 
together  and  check  each  other's  observations.  The  other  observables 
are  the  subjective  phenomena  that  coincide  with  behavior,  which  we 
observe,  each  of  us,  in  ourselves;  and  these  are,  by  definition,  observ- 
able only  to  the  subject. 

Now  projecting  ourselves  into  other  human  beings  is  perhaps  allow- 
able. We  all  belong  to  the  same  species.  Projecting  ourselves  into  ani- 
mals is  often  done.  People  often  assume  that  what  they  feel  when 
angry  is  very  similar  to  what  an  angry  dog  feels;  although  they  can- 
not directly  observe  what  a  dog  feels,  they  guess  at  it.  Of  course,  such 
guessing  becomes  increasingly  difficult,  the  further  removed  the  animal 
is  from  us.  It  is  very  hard  to  imagine  what  a  starfish  feels  when  it  is 
angry,  if  it  ever  gets  angry.  Many  persons  argue  that  this  is  a  difference 
of  degree,  but  many  zoologists  (and  I  am  one)  think  that  this  is  a 
matter  of  principle  with  no  compromise  possible.  We  must  confine 
ourselves  to  the  first  type  of  observables  and  act  on  the  assumption  that 
they  are  determined  by  preceding  events  that  can  be  made  observable. 

I  am  fully  aware  that  this  attitude  is  no  more  than  a  general  working 
hypothesis.  If  we  can  adhere  to  direct  observables  and  try  to  apply 
the  same  method  as  that  used  in  all  the  other  biological  sciences,  then 
we  shall  see  whether  this  hypothesis  works.  That  is  our  attitude  and, 
I  feel,  the  only  attitude  possible.  Of  course,  this  makes  it  very  difficult 
to  communicate  with  those  who  study  human  behavior.  Some  may  say 
our  view  is  very  narrow.  All  right,  it  is  narrow;  but  we  feel  we  must 
recognize  that  science  is  a  limited  occupation  and  is  only  one  way  of 
meeting  nature. 

Our  discussion  will  often  be  worded  in  language  into  which  many 
persons  (and  I  am  among  these)  may  read  subjective  connotations. 
I  feel  that  it  is  fruitless  to  try,  every  time,  to  translate  our  words  into 
operational  language,  because  we  should  lose  a  great  deal  of  time 
quibbling  about  words.  My  own  difficulty,  for  instance,  begins  with 
the  title  of  this  panel:  "Evolution  of  Mind."  I  would  rather  speak  of 
the  evolution  of  behavior;  but  I  won't  quibble  about  it;  we  each  attach 
our  own  meaning  to  the  same  words. 

Brosin:  I  mentioned  earlier  that  in  dealing  with  human  beings  in 
distress  the  psychiatrist  and  psychoanalyst  must  work  with  the  material 
and  the  problems  that  confront  them.  Such  data  consist  largely  of  the 
so-called  irrational  forces,  outside  the  patient's  awareness,  which  are 


186     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

often  called  "unconscious"  and  "preconscious"  activities.  There  is 
much  reason  to  beUeve  that  these  forces  are  related  to  the  animal-man 
referred  to  at  the  close  of  Panel  Three  yesterday  by  Rensch  and  Wad- 
dinaton  and  to  the  concept  of  a  primary  process  developed  by  Freud. 
The  clinical  manifestation  of  various  types  of  disorientation— leav- 
ma  aside,  for  the  moment,  toxic  and  organic  disease  of  the  central 
ne'rvous  system  and  such  phenomena  as  delusions,  sensory  hallucina- 
tions, and  motor  distortion— can  now  be  much  better  understood  by 
means  of  the  concepts  and  methods  of  Freud,  the  experimental  work 
of  Hilgard  and  others  in  hypnosis,  the  LSD-25  series,  the  sensory  depri- 
vation^ studies  initiated  by  Donald  Hebb  and  John  Lilly  (and  now 
there  are  a  half-dozen  good  workers,  including  Solomon  and  others, 
following  upon  these),  and  research  on  the  subliminal  stimuli,  in- 
cluding Charles  Fisher's  studies  of  perception  and  dreams. 

The'se  recent  studies,  supplemented  by  film  and  tape,  provide  nev/ 
data  and  methods  relating  to  the  meaningfulness  of  human  interaction 
and  the  intense  pressures  upon  the  organism,  which  have  verified  or 
even  surpassed  our  expectations. 

It  does  not  reflect  upon  the  dignity  of  man  to  show  how  closely  he  is 
related  to  his  animal  cousins,  if  we  recall  that  at  the  same  time  he  is 
indeed  a  most  remarkable  creature,  with  practically  unlimited  capaci- 
ties for  present  and  future  accomplishments. 

Huxley:  I  am  afraid  I  disagree  with  Tinbergen.  I  very  much  wel- 
comed the  choice  of  this  title  for  our  panel  because  it  stresses  the  im- 
portance of  mind  in  evolution.  I  would  remind  you  that  Darwin,  who 
really  founded  the  science  of  ethology  with  his  book  The  Expression 
of  the  Emotions  in  Man  and  Animals,  was  perfectly  clear  that  it  was 
proper  to  speak  of  the  subjective  factor  in  animals — in  this  case,  the 
emotions — and  I  am  quite  sure  he  was  right.  Of  course,  it  is  clear 
that  the  actual  study  of  behavior  must  begin  on  a  purely  behaviorist 
level.  We  interpret  our  friends'  behavior  in  terms  of  what  we  think 
are  their  mental  activities;  but  our  interpretation  is  always  based  on 
detectable  sensory  signs  of  one  sort  or  another.  In  any  case,  interpreta- 
tion in  mental  terms  is  the  essence  of  what  we  do.  Animals,  too,  have 
directly  observable  modes  of  behavior  and  deducible  mental  attributes. 
As  a  scientist,  one  must  infer  the  existence  of  qualitative  or  subjective 
properties  in  the  behavior  of  subhuman  animals.  Many  lower  verte- 
brates, such  as  fish  and  reptiles,  react  quite  distinctively  to  radiations 
of  different  wave  lengths,  which  give  us  the  sensations  of  red  and 
blue.  I  interpret  such  reactions  as  indicating  that  each  of  these  animals 
subjectively  experiences  some  qualitative  differences  in  its  sensations, 
and  I  assert  that  we  must  so  interpret  them. 

Tinbergen:  I  know  we  have  been  compared  to  people  wearing 


monochromatic  glasses  who  stand  in  front  of  a  painting  by  Rem- 
brandt and  miss  the  most  important  part  of  the  picture.  But  I  don't 
think  it  would  be  very  useful  to  spend  much  time  on  this  point.  I  shall 
just  say  that  I  disagree.  When  Huxley  says  we  can  deduce  something 
about  subjective  phenomena,  I  think  he  uses  "deducing"  in  the  sense 
of  "guessing." 

Huxley:  But  from  my  behavior  you  would  deduce  that  I  see  some 
difference  in  color  between  this  carpet  and  your  clothes? 

Tinbergen:  Right  there  we  are  in  the  middle  of  semantic  diffi- 

Huxley:  That  is  to  evade  what  to  me  is  an  obvious  fact. 

Tinbergen:  It  is  an  obvious  fact  to  you,  the  subject  who  sees  it;  it 
is  not  an  obvious  fact  to  me.  The  obvious  fact  to  me  is  that  you  react 
differently  to  the  two  colors  and  that  you  tell  me  so,  which  is  part  of 
your  reaction. 

Huxley:  I  must  say  I  disagree  with  you.  I  think  we  have  to  believe 
that  animals  do  perceive  some  difference  of  quality  in  colors,  for  in- 

Gerard:  But  do  you  call  this  a  belief,  or  do  you  call  it  a  fact? 

Huxley:  I  think  we  have  to  beUeve  that  it  is  a  fact,  as  we  have  to 
do  with  many  other  scientific  conclusions. 

Gerard:  The  problem,  as  I  see  it,  is  this:  in  an  organism,  some  ante- 
cedent state,  which  we  see  externally  as  material  and  subjectively  per- 
ceive as  conscious  awareness,  is  followed  by  a  like  consequent  state. 
If  we  recognize  and  describe  the  antecedent  state  in  terms  of  physical 
aspects  and  the  subsequent  state  in  terms  of  subjective  aspects,  we  are 
likely  to  make  such  a  statement  as  "ether  produces  unconsciousness." 
But  this  is  just  a  shorthand  and  really  is  not  correct.  The  question  I 
should  like  to  throw  back  at  you,  Huxley,  is  this:  Granting  the  adap- 
tive value  of  behavior,  what  is  the  evolutionary  value  of  awareness? 
Why  is  it  adaptive  for  organisms  to  be  aware  of  the  world  and  them- 
selves? I  have  never  been  able  to  answer  that  to  my  satisfaction. 

Huxley:  What  I  did  not  get  across  is  this:  I  think  we  shall  never 
be  able  to  understand  this.  We  have  to  accept  this — to  me — mysterious 
fact  of  difference  in  quality  of  sensation  and  other  subjective  phe- 
nomena as  an  irreducible  fact.  But  I  think  we  can  quite  properly  de- 
duce that  it  appeared  during  the  course  of  evolution  and  that  it  was 
of  value. 

I  don't  see  how  one  can  interpret  some  of  the  later  stages  of  evolu- 
tion without  such  an  assumption.  In  our  own  case,  for  instance,  how 
can  you  possibly  interpret  the  fact  that  painters  paint  pictures  and  that 
people  like  to  look  at  them,  unless  you  believe  that  the  basis  of  these 
colored  pictures  was  somehow  present  in  prehuman  ancestors? 


188     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Gerard:  Perhaps  this  is  a  good  time  to  leave  an  unanswerable  topic. 
I  don't  think  any  of  us  has  the  remotest  idea  why  subjective  awareness 
developed.  It  is  not  a  silly  question  to  ask  whether  subjective  experi- 
ence may  be  arising  in  computers — or  what  it  is  in  paramecia  or  leuco- 

I  think  we  should  take  a  moment  for  the  problem  of  the  quantita- 
tive and/or  the  pattern  aspect  of  the  information  with  which  we  deal. 

Hilgard:  There  is  no  need  to  elaborate  on  the  obvious  advantages 
of  mathematics  to  science  for  giving  systematic  formulations  precision, 
economy,  and  elegance. 

A  point  raised  last  year  by  the  historian  Charles  Gillespie  intrigued 
me.  This  was  the  difference  in  quantitative  impUcations  between  the 
theories  of  Darwin  and  those  of  Lamarck.  Gillespie  pointed  out  that 
the  common  cliche  of  the  distinction  between  these — inheritance  of 
acquired  characters — is  really  not  nearly  so  fundamental  as  other 
differences  in  their  approaches.  The  fact  that  Darwin  dealt  with  a  mass 
of  concrete  relationships  laid  the  ground  for  eventual  quantification, 
so  it  was  very  easy  for  evolutionary  theory  to  assimilate  Mendelianism 
and  population  dynamics.  Even  though  Darwin  did  not  use  mathe- 
matics, his  way  of  thinking  in  concrete  terms  made  possible  counting 
and  developing  probabilities,  and  so  on. 

An  interesting  by-product  of  this,  which  I  haven't  time  to  go  into, 
is  that  if  one  traces  the  history  of  the  introduction  of  mathematics  into 
my  own  field,  psychology,  one  finds  that  model-building  in  learning 
and  correlational  techniques  and  the  like  come  through  persons  in- 
fluenced by  Darwin.  An  interesting  philosophical  point  here  is  that 
there  is  a  tendency  toward  the  quantitative  in  any  kind  of  objective 
thinking  of  the  kind  that  Tinbergen  is  proposing. 

Whether  we  lose  something  by  this  is,  of  course,  a  problem  of  the 
appropriateness  of  mathematics.  It  is  quite  as  possible  to  be  misled  by 
mathematics  as  by  any  other  tool;  but  it  does  sometimes  help  us  to 
think  clearly.  Since  mathematics  makes  us  communicate  effectively, 
I  suppose  we  shall  see  an  increasing  trend  toward  its  use. 

I  am  sure  that  part  of  the  quarrel  between  the  objectivists  and  the 
subjectivists  is  solely  on  this  ground  of  whether  or  not  we  can  get  a 
systematic  and  unambiguous  communication  of  what  we  mean;  and 
mathematics  signifies  that  we  have  done  this.  I  think  that  with  some 
sophistication  and  by  keeping  our  data  or  our  data  language  objective, 
we  can  still  make  inferences  like  those  Huxley  wants  us  to  make.  My 
own  reason  for  working  on  such  borderline  states  as  hypnosis  is  actu-  • 
ally  to  see  whether  some  such  thing  can  be  done. 

Huxley:  Wouldn't  you  say  that,  besides  his  quantitative  compara-  • 
Uve  study,  Darwm  was  always  thinking  in  terms  of  patterns  of  organi- 


zation?  He  often  used  the  word  "higher"  against  "lower"  organisms.  I 
should  have  thought  this  to  be  an  equally  important  contribution.  It  is 
very  difficult  to  mathematize  patterns  of  organization.  We  shall  have 
to  eventually,  but  meanwhile  we  have  to  make  do  with  thinking  in 
terms  of  patterns.  And  I  would  remind  you  that  the  ethologists  have 
discovered  that  sign  stimuli  consist  of  distinctive  patterns. 

Brosin:  I  would  support  the  general  position  that  we  must  have 
qualitative  data  and  patterning  before  we  can  quantify.  We  are  in  a 
pre-Darwinian  state  of  exploration. 

Gerard:  I  think  we  all  agree.  But  I  should  like  to  take  exception 
to  calling  non-quantitative  "non-mathematical."  With  the  possible 
exceptions  of  geometry  and  the  theory  of  numbers,  the  development 
of  the  calculus  and  differential  equations  and  other  mathematics  of 
quantitative  difference  came  before  the  mathematics  of  relation  or 
pattern,  which  are  so  new  and  exciting  today.  I  think  it  was  partly 
because  the  tools  were  not  available  and  partly  because  it  is  ac- 
tually harder  to  understand  pattern  than  to  measure  amount  that 
biology  and  even  more  the  social  sciences  are  behind  the  physical 
sciences.  Only  now  are  we  beginning  to  enter  the  exciting  period  of 
being  able  to  make  rigorous  statements — not  necessarily  quantitative 
ones — about  the  phenomena  with  which  they  deal. 

The  panel  is  now  ready  to  discuss  the  evolution  of  behavior  and 
what  it  had  to  do  with  mind's  evolving. 

Tinbergen:  First,  a  few  general  words  on  what  we  can  say  about 
the  evolution  of  behavior.  Without  a  direct  historical  record,  we  are 
confined  to  indirect  methods.  (A  few  minute  steps  in  microevolution 
can  be  studied  in  the  laboratory,  and  with  behavior  a  start  is  just  being 
made;  but  the  results  are  so  scattered  and  so  few  that  we  can  disregard 
them  for  the  moment. )  Of  these  indirect  methods,  the  most  fruitful  is, 
of  course,  comparison  of  contemporary  forms.  Now  this  comparison 
is  of  two  types.  First  is  a  kind  of  macrocomparison  based  on  the 
"ladder-of-life"  concept  that  assumes  we  can  arrange  animals  in  lower 
and  higher,  or  less  and  more  complex,  series  and  that,  by  reviewing 
these,  we  get  some  idea  of  general  trends  in  behavioral  evolution.  The 
second  method  we  could  call  "microcomparison."  By  comparing  very 
closely  related  species,  we  try  to  get  an  impression  in  exactly  the  same 
way  that  an  impression  of  adaptive  radiation  within  a  group  was  ac- 
quired in  comparative  anatomy,  acting  on  the  assumption  that  the 
animals  compared  are  really  closely  related  and  have  a  common  an- 
cestor. Therefore,  what  we  see  at  present  must  be  the  result  of  diver- 

Now,  in  macrocomparison,  a  few  things  have  become  clear  and  are 
almost  commonplace.  In  the  course  of  evolution  of  life,  there  has  been 

190     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

a  development  toward  more  patterned  sensory  perception,  more  com- 
plicated configurational  sensory  perception.  There  has  also  been  a 
oeneral  trend  toward  more  complicated  co-ordinated  movement  and, 
with  this,  a  division  of  labor  among  different  functional  parts  of  the 
nervous  system.  An  individual  of  higher  type  has  a  greater  variety  of 
behavior  patterns  than  we  find  in  more  primitive  or  lower  forms.  With 
the  increase  in  the  patterning  of  sensory  reception,  we  find  better  spa- 
tial orientation.  We  see  an  increase  in  learning  capacity.  We  see  at 
various  points  on  the  evolutionary  scale  an  increase  in  social  interac- 
tion, which  has  become  possible  through  a  high  degree  of  complexity. 

A  number  of  microcomparative  studies  are  now  available,  mainly 
on  closely  related  groups  of  birds.  The  surface-feeding  ducks  have 
been  well  studied  by  Lorenz,  and  some  of  the  songbirds  have  been  ex- 
tensively worked  on.  For  the  purposes  of  this  panel,  it  is  particularly 
unfortunate  that  this  method  has  not  been  extended  to  the  primates — 
the  group  in  which  we  are  most  interested — to  the  same  extent  as  it 
has  to  other  animals,  although  a  beginning  is  now  made  toward  a  con- 
centrated and  truly  biological  comparative  study  of  the  primates.  In 
Madison,  Harry  Harlow  is  making  a  beautiful  study  of  monkeys.  Many 
parties  are  now  in  the  field.  I  hear  that  my  colleague  John  Emlen  has 
succeeded  in  approaching  gorillas  in  the  field  and  is  using  exactly  the 
same  methods  as  those  we  have  been  applying  to  birds.  But  the  pri- 
mates involve  an  enormously  more  complicated  set  of  problems  than, 
say,  finches  or  gulls;  and  when  I  consider  how  long  it  has  taken  us  to 
understand  something  about  adaptive  radiation  in  the  gulls,  I  feel  a 
far  greater  effort  still  is  needed  with  the  primates. 

Huxley:  All  those  interested  in  animal  behavior  are  greatly  in- 
debted to  Tinbergen,  to  Konrad  Lorenz,  and  to  their  colleagues  and 
followers.  They  have  illuminated  this  whole  field  in  a  totally  new  and 
exciting  way.  For  instance,  in  my  first  piece  of  work  I  described  and 
tried  to  interpret — largely  unsuccessfully — the  courtship  of  the  Great 
Crested  Grebe.  Now,  thanks  to  Tinbergen  and  his  colleagues,  it  has 
become  comprehensible.  They  have  discovered  built-in  sign  stimuli, 
releasing  mechanisms,  and  motor  mechanisms  and  have  found  that 
actual  behavior  depends  on  an  interaction  of  different  and  sometimes 
conflicting  drives,  which  I  would  say  presumably  have  some  emotional 

Another  important  thing  they  discovered  was  that  in  certain  types 
of  conflict  or  frustration,  nervous  energy — or  whatever  you  like  to 
call  it — flows  out  into  an  irrelevant  and  non-adaptive  activity,  which 
they  called  "displacement  activity"— Hke  sham  preening  during  court- 
ship; and  this  may  then  be  seized  on  by  later  evolution  as  the  basis  for 


some  new  biologically  significant  and  adaptive  function.  Then,  in 
recent  years,  Tinbergen  especially  has  studied  the  comparative  be- 
havior of  a  related  group  of  animals;  and  with  the  gulls,  for  instance, 
he  found  that  behavior  that  seems  quite  incomprehensible  in  one  species 
becomes  comprehensible  when  you  study  the  whole  group  com- 

Hilgard:  a  few  years  ago,  Tinbergen  wrote  a  book  with  the  word 
"instinct"  in  the  title.  This  is  a  good  word,  one  used  by  Darwin;  and  I 
should  like  him  to  comment  just  briefly  on  that. 

Tinbergen:  I  wanted  to  avoid  that  word  because  I  feared  we  would 
end  up  in  semantics  again.  The  main  reason  that,  after  having  written 
a  book  on  the  study  of  instinct,  I  now  don't  use  the  word  is  that  I  find 
it  covers  at  least  four  entirely  different  concepts. 

Instinct  is  sometimes  used  in  the  sense  of  anything  that  is  not  learned 
and  refers  to  the  ontogeny  of  behavior;  it  then  designates  so-called  in- 
nate behavior,  not-learned  behavior.  As  applied  to  characters,  that 
dichotomy  is  no  longer  very  popular,  although  we  can  retain  it  for 
influences  and  for  differences  between  species.  This  is  one  use  of  the 
word  "instinct,"  and  it  refers  to  an  aspect  of  ontogeny,  learned  or  non- 

But  instinct  also  covers  quite  a  distinct  concept  that  is  closer  to  the 
original  meaning  of  the  word.  That  is,  is  behavior  purely  reactive,  a 
response  to  external  changes — or  is  it  driven  from  within?  Instinct 
here,  I  think,  means  something  like  driving,  urging.  This  use  has  noth- 
ing to  do  with  the  ontogenetic  distinction. 

We  use  "instinct"  in  a  third  sense,  especially  in  human  behavior, 
when  we  say  someone  put  his  foot  on  the  brake  instinctively.  Here 
again,  we  mean  something  entirely  different — "not  deliberately"  or 
"unconsciously" — and  refer  to  a  subjective  aspect  open  to  our  own  ob- 
servation only. 

And  then,  of  course,  there  is  a  fourth  use  of  the  word,  and  that  was 
the  way  I  meant  to  use  it  in  my  earlier  writings.  In  many  animals 
there  are  rather  separate  functional  systems,  such  as  the  whole  mech- 
anism responsible  for  feeding  behavior  and  the  entire  (largely  un- 
known) mechanism  responsible  for  sexual  behavior.  You  can  call  such 
a  mechanism  the  "feeding  instinct"  or  the  "mating  instinct."  That  is 
again  an  entirely  different  use.  In  that  sense,  all  behavior  is  instinctive, 
whether  learned  or  not.  This  confusion  is  really  the  reason  I  think 
that  the  words  "instinct"  and  "instinctive"  are  not  very  useful,  even 
if  every  time  you  use  them  you  put  in  a  little  footnote,  saying  "I  mean 
this  or  that." 

Huxley:  The  word  can  still  be  very  useful.  I  remember  when  Kon- 

192     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

rad  Lorenz  came  back  from  America  after  a  great  dispute  with  pro- 
ponents of  the  view  that  learning  is  all-important  in  behavior,  he  said, 
"I  think  I  have  taken  some  of  the  stink  out  of  instinct." 

Gerard:  Hilgard,  are  you  content  with  this  position,  or  do  you  wish 
to  pursue  the  point? 

Hilgard:  I  am  content. 

Gerard:  I  think  that,  as  Tinbergen  said,  this  is  purely  a  matter  of 
a  convenient  term  to  epitomize  a  series  of  phenomena.  The  neuro- 
physiologist  finds  different  parts  of  the  nervous  system  that  actively 
lead  to  a  kind  of  behavior,  which,  seen  in  man  or  animals,  we  call 
"emotional  behavior" — fear  or  rage  or  sex  or  something  of  that  kind. 
We  can  call  it  "emotional  behavior"  or  "instinctive  behavior"  if  we 
know  what  we  are  talking  about  and  avoid  these  mind-behavior  mix- 

We  are  forever  faced  with  anecdotal  stories  of  domesticated  ani- 
mals or  our  garden  friends  doing  things  that  look  highly  purposive. 
There  was  a  paragraph  in  a  recent  Reader's  Digest  about  a  chap  who 
kept  squirrels  from  stealing  the  seeds  from  his  bird-feeding  station 
by  rigging  this  so  that  the  slightest  weight  on  one  side  would  tip  off 
the  squirrel.  It  worked  for  several  days,  but  then  the  seeds  began  to 
disappear  again.  Lo  and  behold,  two  squirrels  were  jumping  simul- 
taneously on  the  two  sides.  Now  is  this  realistic?  If  it  is  a  valid  descrip- 
tion of  a  phenomenon,  would  you  use  the  word  "instinctive"  in  con- 
nection with  it? 

Huxley:  I  think  we  should  leave  these  as  essentially  philosophical! 
and  semantic  problems.  We  have  many  concrete  and  more  exciting- 
questions  to  discuss. 

Gerard:  You  don't  want  to  pick  it  up,  Tinbergen? 

Tinbergen:  No,  I  agree  with  Huxley.  Let's  turn  to  concrete  ques- 

Huxley:  I  should  have  thought  that,  as  a  result  of  Lorenz's  and: 
Tinbergen's  work,  "instinct"  should  be  used  for  a  rather  elaborate 
built-in  system  involving  a  sensory  pattern  that  can  be  received,  the 
internal  releasing  mechanism  that  receives  it,  and  the  complex  motor 
pattern  that  comes  out.  It  is  really  a  definite  type  of  phenomenon,  noti 
a  general  category.  ' 

Gerard:  Are  we  all  satisfied  with  this  discussion  of  topic  3  and 
ready  to  move  on  to  4? 

Huxley:  I  was  going  to  talk  about  the  evolution  of  color.  This 
emerges  as  something  new  in  the  world,  and  the  acquisition  of  color 
vision  by  animals  had  an  effect  on  subsequent  evolution.  I  think  no- 
body would  disagree  that  the  capacity  to  distinguish  different  wave 
lengths  did  lead  to  the  evolution  of  brightly  colored  display  characters 


in  fishes,  birds,  reptiles,  and  the  like — in  other  words,  that  had  further 
evolutionary  consequences.  Apparently  mammals  lost  most  of  the  ca- 
pacity for  color  vision  during  their  transition  from  the  reptiles,  prob- 
ably because  they  were  nocturnal  and  lived  underground.  In  conse- 
quence, they  do  not  show  any  bright  colors  in  their  pelage.  They 
show  blacks,  browns,  yellows,  russets,  whites,  and  grays,  but  not  true 
reds,  greens,  or  blues.  We  know  the  primates  have  reacquired  color 
vision,  and,  as  a  result,  one  finds  a  full  range  of  colors  among  them, 
with  greens  and  blues  and  true  reds  coming  back,  often  in  all  sorts  of 
funny  places — you  remember  P.  G.  Wodehouse's  definition  of  the 
mandrill  as  the  animal  that  wears  its  club  colors  in  the  wrong  place. 
And  then,  of  course,  in  the  human  species,  this  has  had  important 
biological,  social,  and  economic  effects,  such  as  the  redness  of  human 
lips  and  the  manufacture  of  lipstick.  Thus  color  vision  is  the  basis  of 
much  of  the  cosmetic  industry. 

Tinbergen:  Points  3  and  4  list  several  examples  of  human  behavior 
in  areas  where  every  one  of  us  has  been  asking  whether  we  can  see 
possible  precursors  in  animal  behavior.  And  I  thought  it  would  be 
well  to  discuss  some  of  these  in  more  or  less  concrete  terms.  I  selected 
at  random  the  last  item  mentioned  under  point  3,  "Operating  with 
values."  I  think  we  can  mention  some  interesting  examples  of  animal 
behavior  that  may  give  just  a  glimpse  of  how  in  animals  we  can  see 
possible  precursors  of  this  type  of  behavior  in  man. 

Man  is  a  social  animal  and  shares  with  many  social  animals  a  cer- 
tain set  of  values.  That  is  how  we  describe  these  in  man;  I  think  in 
animals  we  could  call  them  tendencies  to  behave  or  not  to  behave  in 
a  certain  way;  to  behave  or  to  inhibit  behavior  (or  misbehave;  but 
that  would  be  introducing  a  value,  which  I  won't  do).  I  am  thinking 
of  the  remarkable  conformity  in  general  behavior  shown  by  many  so- 
cial animals.  In  some  birds,  for  instance,  there  are  indications  of 
special  behavior  patterns,  whose  function  is  to  bring  an  abnormally 
behaving  individual  back  into  normality.  This  has  been  reported  in 
social  birds,  for  instance.  When  a  bird  behaves  very  abnormally,  fellow 
members  of  the  group  may  attack  it,  and  the  reaction  of  the  attacked 
bird  is  to  come  back  into  the  flock  and  be  inconspicuous.  When  one 
approaches  this  problem  as  a  zoologist,  one  begins  to  wonder  about 
the  functions  of  certain  human  behavior  patterns.  One  can  no  longer 
doubt  that  we  have  something  similar;  and  we  even  have  an  intensity 
scale  of  this  kind  of  action.  When  a  person  behaves  abnormally,  we 
begin  by  laughing  at  him — incidentally,  laughing  together  at  another 
person  ties  the  two  who  are  laughing  very  closely  together — which  is 
a  very  strong  stimulus  and  makes  the  abnormally  behaving  individual 

194     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

want  to  come  back  into  normality,  to  rejoin  the  group.  If  laughing 
at  him  does  not  work,  we  "send  him  to  Coventry."  That  is  a  still 
stronger  stimulus.  It  is  worse  to  be  sent  to  Coventry  than  to  be  laughed 
at.  If  this  doesn't  help,  you  use  open  aggression.  In  our  civilized  so- 
ciety, of  course,  aggression  takes  a  very  mild  and  non-mechanical 
form,  but  still  it  is  very  much  there,  and  the  response  of  the  individual, 
which  makes  him  want  to  disappear  in  the  crowd — in  other  words,  to 
behave  like  the  others — is  very  strong.  I  think  if  we  compare  these  gen- 
eral social  devices  in  behavior  in  man  and  in  other  social  animals,  we 
may  find  a  number  of  such  precursors — possible  precursors.  Of  course, 
I  am  speaking  of  functionally  similar  things — of  analogies. 

Brosin:  May  I  ask  a  question  about  your  ranking  of  the  types  of 
behavior?  Curiously,  you  consider  direct  aggression  and  assault  a 
more  severe  method  of  correcting  unconventional  behavior  than  send- 
ing to  Coventry.  Actually,  both  personal  observation  and  the  com- 
munication theory  of  Sapir  and  Bloomfield  that  I  mentioned  earher 
indicate  that  one  of  the  worst  things  that  can  happen  to  one,  and  one 
of  the  quickest  ways  of  dehumanizing  a  person  and  getting  quick  re- 
gression down  to  the  prmiitive,  is  to  send  him  to  Coventry  or  otherwise 
isolate  him. 

Tinbergen:  The  scale  of  functions  may  have  to  be  revised.  I  was 
just  giving  a  concrete  illustration  of  the  kind  of  comparison  that  might 
be  useful.  Sendmg  to  Coventry  might  be  worse  than  aggression,  I 

Huxley:  Do  you  ever  find  that  higher  social  animals  are  sent  to 
Coventry  or  sent  out  of  the  herd? 

Tinbergen:  Sent  out,  yes;  but  this  is  done  by  aggression.  You  re- 
member Goethe's  paper  on  birds.  I  don't,  offhand,  know  of  any  animal 
equivalent  of  sending  to  Coventry. 

Hallowell:  There  again  the  primates  might  be  useful. 

Gerard:  I  was  much  impressed  by  the  point  Leakey  made  yester- 
day, that  in  times  of  severe  drought  territoriality  is  abrogated.  It  struck 
me  that  this  looked  like  a  real  value  judgment.  Would  vou  agree  with 
that?  ^  ^        ^ 

Tinbergen:  There  are  comparable  observations  on  social  birds 
who  live  in  flocks  in  winter.  It  has  been  reported  of  rooks  that  there  is 
a  regulatory  mechanism  of  the  connection  between  hunger  and  ag- 
gression. When  mildly  deprived,  they  will  fight  each  other  over  food. 
When  they  are  very  much  deprived,  under  conditions  of  extreme  cold 
and  extreme  starvation,  all  aggression  suddenly  stops.  I  think  this 
must  mean  that  in  these  two  circumstances  selection  has  put  a  premium 
on  two  different  things. 

Hilgard:  "Value"  is  used  here  in  the  sense  of  regulatory  social 


values,  but  it  is  one  of  those  words  that  cover  a  great  deal.  One  can 
study  preferences  as  well  as  discrimination.  For  example,  besides 
color  discrimination,  one  can  find  a  sort  of  primitive  aesthetics.  Rensch 
has  reported  that  some  of  his  monkeys  prefer  to  string  beads  of  certain 
colors  rather  than  other  colors.  It  is  not  just  a  matter  of  whether  they 
can  tell  them  apart.  Here  at  the  University  of  Chicago,  Eckhard  Hess 
is  experimenting  with  changing  the  preference  of  chicks  for  different 
colors.  So  one  can  see  other  kinds  of  continuity  between  animals  and 
man.  I  think  this  is  really  a  fascinating  notion,  following  different 
strands  in  behavior  to  see  how  we  got  the  way  we  are. 

Huxley:  In  this,  the  Satin  Bower  Bird  is  perhaps  the  most  remark- 
able of  all.  Not  only  do  the  males  prefer  blue  and  reject  red  objects  for 
their  collections  in  front  of  the  bowers,  but  scfoie  individuals  of  the 
species  paint  their  bowers  deliberately.  This  is  definitely  the  beginning 
of  aesthetics. 

Tinbergen:  Let  us  take  another  example.  The  panel  yesterday 
called  the  use  of  tools  very  distinct  from  preparing  or  making  tools. 
It  is,  in  a  sense,  unfortunate  that  through  Wolfgang  Kohler's  work  the 
use  of  tools  has  been  linked  with  something  like  insight.  It  is  not  the 
use  of  tools  as  such  but  the  spontaneous  individual  invention  of  the 
use  of  tools  that  Kohler  pointed  out  as  being  important  and  "rather 

We  know  several  animals  that  use  tools  in  the  fullest  sense  of  the 
word.  One  is  the  Galapagos  finch,  which  lives  rather  like  a  wood- 
pecker, but,  instead  of  having  developed  the  woodpecker's  bill,  it  uses 
the  spine  of  a  cactus  to  probe  in  cracks  and  get  at  insects.  That  is  the 
use  of  a  tool  in  the  fullest  sense  of  the  word.  But  all  individuals  of  the 
population,  as  far  as  is  known,  do  that.  Unfortunately,  we  don't  know 
how  it  develops  in  ontogeny,  but  I  think  we  can  make  a  pretty  good 
guess  that  this  is  not  learned  behavior.  Another  famous  example  is 
the  sea  otter,  which  carries  a  stone  on  its  stomach,  and  when  it  has  got 
hold  of  a  mussel,  it  will  float  on  its  back  and  hammer  the  mussel  against 
the  stone  to  crack  it.  That,  I  think,  is  by  all  definitions  the  use  of  a 
tool.  But  again,  the  whole  population  does  it,  and  again  we  don't  know 
whether  they  learn  this  or  not. 

Hallowell:  Anthropologists  discovered  long  ago  that  instinct — 
at  least  in  one  of  the  definitions  mentioned  by  Tinbergen — was  of 
little  use  as  an  explanatory  principle  in  the  study  of  human  societies 
and  cultures.  I  think  everyone  knows  this.  What  anthropologists  call 
"culture"  is  assumed  to  be  non-instinctive,  to  be  the  consequence  of 
individual  learning  and  the  social  transmission  of  learned  behavior 
through  symbolic  mediation.  No  formal  definition  of  culture  is  needed 
here,  but  I  should  like  to  touch  on  a  couple  of  other  points. 

196     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

First  is  the  relation  of  learning  and  the  transmission  of  behavior 
patterns  and  thought  in  human  groups  to  the  question  of  values.  It 
may  be  and  very  likely  is  important  to  consider  values  in  evolutionary 
perspective,  but  it  seems  to  me  that  it  would  be  one  of  the  most  diffi- 
cult concepts  to  deal  with  in  this  way.  At  the  primate  level,  to  say 
nothing  of  animals  other  than  primates,  "value"  in  relation  to  the  be- 
havior of  individuals  certainly  might  be  conceived  to  have  some  rela- 
tion to  group  survival.  One  of  the  illustrations  Tinbergen  mentioned 
might  concern  group  survival. 

Besides  group  survival  in  the  biological  sense,  the  human  level  in- 
volves survival  of  sociocultural  systems.  The  survival  of  these  systems 
depends  on  the  socialization  process,  learning  by  individuals,  and 
interiorization  of  traditional  values,  which  then  function  in  relation 
to  goals  in  the  society  but,  at  the  same  time,  from  a  psychological 
point  of  view,  permit  the  individual  to  be  very  deeply  identified  with 
the  values  of  his  cultural  system.  This  has  a  double  aspect.  There  is 
survival  in  the  biological  sense,  because  from  an  institutional  point 
of  view — the  economic  system,  the  family,  and  so  on — the  biological 
survival  of  individuals  is  secured;  but  at  the  same  time  the  sociocul- 
tural system  becomes  an  ongoing  concern. 

As  for  the  tool  problem,  aside  from  the  differentiation  between 
tool  using  and  tool  making,  I  see  a  crucial  question  in  the  actual  psy- 
chological processes  involved  in  what  has  sometimes  been  called  tool 
making  among  chimpanzees.  I  came  across  a  statement  by  Nissen 
that  the  case  in  which  the  chimpanzee  Sultan  actually  put  two  sticks 
together  was,  in  fact,  a  unique  observation.  In  other  words,  the  in- 
ventive aspect  would  seem  to  be  less  prominent. 

I  wanted  to  link  this  question  of  invention  by  primates  with  the 
emphasis  so  frequently  given  to  the  perpetuation  of  sociocultural  sys- 
tems through  learning,  because  undoubtedly  we  have  parallels  here 
to  primates  and  to  other  animals.  It  seems  that  man  has  psychological 
potentialities,  due  to  psychological  reorganization  of  the  hominids 
somewhere  along  the  line,  which  permit  perpetuation  through  learn- 
ing and  social  sanctions  of  cultural  values  and  a  cultural  pattern  and 
which  also  provide  potentialities  for  cultural  readjustment  and  change 
through  invention  and  discovery.  This,  it  seems  to  me,  is  very  impor- 
tant to  emphasize.  The  very  fact  that  culture  patterns  are  differentiated 
so  widely  in  Homo  sapiens  is  in  itself  evidence  of  this.  In  other  words, 
although  we  can  and  do  speak  of  culture  in  a  generic  sense  and  while 
there  are  certain  universal  aspects  of  culture,  in  concrete  and  in  his- 
torical terms,  culture  in  man  is  not  actually  species-specific. 

Gerard:  Tinbergen,  do  you  think  of  any  clear  examples  of  inven- 
tion, sanctions,  or  social  transmission  of  knowledge  in  the  subhuman 


Tinbergen:  As  many  of  you  may  know,  titmice  in  Britain  had 
developed  a  habit  of  opening  milk  bottles  left  at  the  front  door.  From 
a  study  of  the  spread  of  this  habit  through  Britain,  James  Fisher  and 
Robert  Hinde  have  concluded  that  it  must  have  originated  in  many  dif- 
ferent places.  From  these  centers,  it  must  have  spread  through  the 
population,  partly  through  tits  of  the  same  generation  imitating  each 
other  and  perhaps  partly  through  transmission  from  one  generation 
to  another.  There  is  very  little  doubt  that  here  is  an  example  of  a 
discovery  by  birds,  and  not  by  only  one  individual  in  the  population, 
but  by  a  number,  yet  a  limited  number.  It  is  now  so  widespread  that 
most  houses  have  a  metal  cup  or  a  stone  ready  for  the  milkman  to 
put  on  top  of  the  bottles.  It  is  a  rare  invention,  and  we  know  few  ex- 
amples of  this;  but  it  does  occur. 

Huxley:  There  were  several  centers  of  origin  from  which  we  have 
been  able  to  measure  the  rate  of  spread  of  the  habit.  There  was  one 
center  in  the  Low  Countries. 

Gerard:  What  about  the  red  deer,  where  the  old  female  in  the 
group  is  supposed  to  pass  on  knowledge  of  the  terrain? 

Tinbergen:  I  have  no  information  about  that. 

Huxley:  There  is  a  much  better  example  available.  Do  you  remem- 
ber the  case  of  the  monkeys  in  Japan,  reported  at  the  International 
Zoological  Congress  last  year?  These  monkeys  live  in  troops,  each 
with  its  own  tradition  of  food  preferences.  Every  now  and  then  these 
will  change.  And  this  is  very  interesting:  the  change  seems  always  to 
be  introduced  by  some  naughty  young  monkey  who  wants  to  eat  some- 
thing different.  To  start  with,  his  mother  spanks  him;  but  if  he  is 
naughty  enough  and  wilful  enough,  he  goes  on  eating  it,  and  then  she 
eats  it,  and  then  the  custom  spreads.  This  is  a  remarkable  example 
of  a  youthful  individual  initiating  psychosocial  change — a  Prometheus, 
as  it  were,  of  monkey  diet. 

Hallowell:  It  is  very  interesting  that,  instead  of  these  new  food 
habits  being  accepted  by  older  monkeys,  they  very  often  are  accepted 
first  by  the  younger  animals,  from  whom  the  older  monkeys  then 
learn.  However,  Imanishi's  use  of  the  terms  "culture"  and  "accultura- 
tion" involves  a  problem  we  do  not  have  time  to  discuss  here.  But,  as 
I  mentioned  yesterday,  it  seems  to  me  that  in  human  evolution,  both 
social  and  psychological,  we  have  to  conceive  of  some  kind  of  pre- 
adaptive  stage.  I  should  prefer  to  call  this  "protocultural,"  because 
the  life  of  these  animals  as  compared  to  man  shows  qualitative  and 
quantitative  differences.  I  think  in  discussing  evolutionary  problems 
we  have  to  be  very  careful  of  our  terminology. 

Critchley:  It  seems  to  me  that  one  of  the  principal  gaps  in  our 
understanding  of  this  smooth,  orderly  progression  between  the  highest 
representatives  of  the  Primates  and  the  lowest  representatives  of  Homo 

198     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

sapiens  is  the  abrupt  introduction  of  language,  because,  no  matter 
how  vocal  an  animal  is,  however  rich  its  repertoire  of  sounds,  it  can- 
not, strictly  speaking,  be  spoken  of  as  being  endowed  in  the  precise 
sense  of  the  word  with  either  speech  or  language.  At  the  very  most, 
we  can  use  the  term  "animal  communication."  At  present,  there  seems 
to  be  a  very  real  distinction  between  animal  communication  and 
human  speech  or  language. 

Gerard:  What  about  a  man  and  a  dog  interacting? 

Critchley:  That  is  capable  of  a  different  interpretation  altogether. 
Somebody  has  said,  rightfully  perhaps,  that  it  is  easier  to  translate 
thirty  pages  of  Cicero  than  to  understand  fully  the  meaning  of  a  croco- 
dile's grunt.  The  matter  of  the  man  and  the  dog  is  another  story. 

I  think  we  can  say  that  the  main  difference  between  animals  and 
man  in  this  respect  is  that  in  their  system  of  communication  animals 
employ  signs,  whereas  man  makes  use  of  symbols.  That  is  the  big 

Gerard:  When  a  dog  sits  up  and  begs  for  sugar,  what  is  it  doing? 

Critchley:  Making  signs. 

Gerard:  I  question  that. 

Critchley:  When  we  look  at  the  problem,  trying  to  detect  the 
bridge  between  animals  and  man,  we  can  perhaps  assert  that  the  right 
way  would  be  to  look  not  so  much  for  the  beginning  of  articulation 
or  the  articulate  use  of  symbols  as  to  seek  rather  the  beginnings  of 
symbolic  thought  or  behavior  or  a  manipulation  of  symbols  in  ani- 
mals. If  we  can  only  descry  somewhere  in  the  animal  scale  the  be- 
ginnings of  these  phenomena,  perhaps  then  we  might  be  witnessing 
the  very  earliest  precursors  of  language  and  then  perhaps  we  can  see 
things  of  significance  being  attached  to  some  inanimate  objects  out- 
side themselves.  For  example,  when  we  find  an  ape  choosing  an  ob- 
ject— a  stone  or  stick  or  a  piece  of  rag — carefully  setting  it  aside  and 
preserving  it  and  then  utilizing  it  as  if  it  were  a  sort  of  plaything  (not  a 
tool),  then  perhaps  we  are  witnessing  the  beginnings  of  symbol  forma- 
tion. Perhaps  this  is  the  beginning  of  symbolic  thought.  Then,  from 
the  particularization  of  one  single  item  in  the  environment  to  the  en- 
dowment of  this  particular  item  with  a  name  is  really  only  a  step.  It 
is  a  big  step,  no  doubt;  but,  anyway,  it  is  the  sort  of  step  that  we 
humans  can  visualize  without  too  much  difficulty. 

Tinbergen:  What  Critchley  says  is  fully  borne  out  by  most  studies 
of  animal  communication.  Ethologists  also  feel  there  is  an  enormous 
gap  between  the  very  simple  "sign  language"  observed  among  ani- 
mals— of  which  we  know  a  great  deal  now — and  human  speech.  Here 
again,  a  study  of  the  primates  is  needed  to  fill  the  gap. 

Sign  languages  in  birds  and  fish,  for  instance,  are  all  of  this  type: 

PANEL  FOUR:  THE  EVOLUTION  OF  MIND      •     199 

They  carry  a  message — "Do  this  now."  They  elicit  something — "Stop 
this  now"  or  "Come  here"  or  "Go  away"  or,  in  very  rare  cases,  "Go 
there";  and,  oddly  enough,  the  best  example  of  that  last  message  is 
found  in  the  honeybee.  In  birds  and  even  in  mammals  this  is  extremely 
rare — not  because  they  cannot  point  somewhere,  but  because  it  is 
so  obviously  difficult  to  react  to  pointing-somewhere  (as  every  dog 
owner  knows). 

Gantt:  I  should  like  to  go  back  from  the  heights  to  which  Critchley 
has  brought  us  and  mention  one  or  two  common  characteristics  we 
see  throughout  the  animal  kingdom,  parallel,  perhaps,  to  what  von 
Muralt  said  earlier  about  the  common  transmitters  of  nervous  impulses. 

Throughout  the  animal  kingdom,  whether  we  study  higher  or  lower 
organisms,  we  see  that  if  organisms  can  form  any  individual  condi- 
tional reflex  at  all,  they  form  it  at  about  the  same  number  of  repeti- 
tions. That  is,  a  worm  will  learn  as  quickly  as  a  human  being  the  kind 
of  things  that  it  can  learn.  This,  of  course,  has  some  kind  of  teleological 
basis,  because  if  a  worm  couldn't  learn  in  two  or  three  attempts,  there 
would  be  little  purpose  in  its  learning  at  all;  it  does  not  have  a  very 
long  schooling  period. 

I  should  like  to  say  something  about  the  perversions  of  our  evolu- 
tion of  behavior  and  mind.  Gerard  has  used  the  terms  "racial  reac- 
tions" and  "becoming"  for  what,  in  more  restrictive  laboratory  lan- 
guage, have  been  called  "unconditional"  and  "conditional  reflexes." 
Now,  as  we  go  up  through  the  animal  kingdom,  we  see  that  it  is  not 
the  speed  at  which  these  individual  reactions  are  formed  that  increases, 
but  the  complexities.  As  we  reach  the  human  level,  these  reactions 
become  very  complex — the  interrelations  between  the  symbols — so 
that,  as  human  beings,  we  have  achieved  even  the  possibility  of  escap- 
ing the  gravity  of  the  earth.  However,  in  this  formation  of  the  com- 
plexities there  is  also  a  great  liability.  As  we  form  more  and  more  indi- 
vidually acquired  responses  to  certain  situations,  we  find  that  we  do 
not  have  to  be  very  old  for  this  to  occur.  We  become,  as  it  were,  a 
museum  of  antiquity,  so  that,  having  once  formed  these  responses,  it 
is  very  difficult  to  unform  them. 

I  want  to  mention  one  example  of  this,  from  the  studies  I  have  been 
carrying  on.  In  studying  the  cardiovascular  reactions,  we  have  seen 
that  these  form  much  more  quickly  than  the  ordinary  conventional 
conditional  reflexes,  such  as  the  movement  or  the  secretion  of  a  gland. 
They  will  ordinarily  form  after  one  repetition.  That  is,  to  a  certain 
kind  of  situation  your  heart  rate  and  blood  pressure  will  increase.  This 
increase  is  learned,  is  acquired  during  the  life  of  each  individual,  and, 
once  formed,  it  is  very  difficult  to  get  rid  of.  Pavlov  has  shown  that 
through  the  process  of  extinction  you  can  return  an  individual  to  what 

200     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

seems  more  or  less  to  be  his  preconditioning  state,  and  he  will  seem 
to  be  neutral  toward  that  situation.  Hovv'ever,  if  you  follow  his  cardio- 
vascular reactions,  you  will  see  that  these  persist,  even  though  the  in- 
dividual, when  looked  at  externally,  seems  to  be  at  rest.  By  studying 
the  more  internal  autonomic  responses,  we  see  that  he  may  be  very 
violently  disturbed  and  that,  under  certain  circumstances,  particularly 
susceptible  individuals  can  never  be  returned  to  their  normal  condi- 
tion. This  is  what  one  finds  by  studying  some  of  the  less  observable 
and  autonomic  responses,  and  I  think  this  is  one  of  the  chief  bases  of 
our  psychopathology  and  the  kind  of  phenomenon  we  must  look  at. 
Aside  from  our  marvelous  ability  for  adaptation,  we  also  have  to  con- 
sider this  other  side — the  hazard  and  the  liability  that  human  beings 
have  because  of  the  special  complexities  of  their  possibilities  for  re- 
acting and  forming  responses  to  their  individual  experiences. 

VON  Muralt:  From  the  point  of  view  of  the  neurophysiologist,  the 
integration  that  occurs  in  the  building-up  of  the  central  nervous  system 
is  based  on  organization,  and  not  on  the  introduction  of  qualitatively 
new  elements  into  the  system.  It  is  the  pattern  and  the  development  of 
pattern,  the  organization  and  the  working-together,  that  make  the 
complexity  of  the  structure.  Basically,  the  elements  are  always  the 

Gerard:  You  are  thinking  of  the  higher  levels  there,  aren't  you? 
As  you  pointed  out,  if  one  starts  low  enough,  there  is  not  even  a  nerv- 
ous system;  so  the  appearance  of  a  nervous  system  is  one  mechanism 
for  improved  behavior.  Then  comes  the  more  rapid  conduction  in 
nerves  because  messages  jump  from  one  break  in  the  insulation  to  an- 
other hole,  and  so  speed  up  conduction  enormously.  The  receptors 
are  tremendously  increased  in  sensitivity.  The  light  needed  to  excite 
the  eye  of  a  clam,  for  instance,  is  10^  units,  and  that  needed  to  excite 
the  eye  of  a  human  is  10^ — ten  million  million  times  less.  Advances  at 
lower  levels  are  unquestionably  related  to  the  improved  elements,  just 
as  later  radio  tubes  were  better  than  earlier  ones. 

But  the  point  von  Muralt  raised  certainly  comes  in  at  the  beginning 
of  the  vertebrates  and  probably  improves  up  to  the  mammals — we 
don't  really  know  the  facts  about  this — by  better  circuits  and  better 
patterns  rather  than  by  better  units.  The  later  developments  of  the 
radio  involved  heterodynes,  superheterodynes,  and  improved  designs; 
similarly,  there  are  impressive  developments  in  the  circuitry  of  the 
nervous  system. 

Some  of  these  have  been  alluded  to.  For  example,  the  very  existence 
of  a  synapse  connecting  neurons  with  one  another  allows  the  separa- 
tion of  input  and  output,  thus  dissociating  stimulus  and  response  in 
time  and  giving  variabihty  to  their  relation.  Then,  instead  of  an  im- 


pulse  coming  in  and  going  out  through  a  series  of  neurons  and  to  an 
act,  it  may  turn  back  on  itself  to  form  a  loop  of  neurons  in  which 
messages  may  be  trapped  and  go  round  and  round — the  way  the  con- 
traction in  a  jellyfish  bell  can  be  made  to  go  round  and  round  when 
started  right. 

Next,  there  are  the  specific  so-called  feedback  mechanisms.  Critch- 
ley  does  not  like  this  term,  and,  as  a  biologist,  I  also  objected  to  it 
for  a  long  while;  but  the  engineers  have  had  us  there,  and  it  has  come 
into  general  use.  These  mechanisms  act  as  a  sort  of  volume  control. 
A  message  getting  into  the  nervous  system  may  be  too  strong  for  the 
circumstances,  and  feedback  cuts  down  the  upward  flow  of  messages. 
You  have  perhaps  heard  of  some  recent  experiments  showing  variation 
in  the  size  of  the  response  generated  in  the  cat's  ear  by  a  click  of  con- 
stant intensity  repeated  over  and  over  again  regularly.  If  the  click  has 
no  special  significance  to  the  animal's  existence,  the  response  rapidly 
decays  until  it  is  practically  undetectable.  This  is  habituation — just  as 
you  learn  to  sleep  next  to  the  railroad,  despite  trains  rumbling  by.  Con- 
versely, if  that  same  click  is  made  the  conditioning  signal  to  indicate 
to  the  animal  that  it  will  be  shocked,  then  the  response,  instead  of 
decaying,  gets  much  larger.  This  is  obviously  a  physiological  mani- 
festation of  what  the  psychologists  would  call  "alertness"  or  "atten- 

There  are  many  other  neurological  mechanisms;  I  can  mention  only 
the  direct  and  the  indirect  or  diffuse  system.  The  diffuse  system  is 
clearly  related  to  the  kind  of  experience  we  call  "emotional"  and  again 
gives  the  set;  the  discrete  system  is  associated  with  the  pattern  experi- 
enced rather  than  its  set  or  tone.  These  are  some  kinds  of  patterns  that 
have  come  into  existence  in  the  development  and  evolution  of  the 
nervous  system.  They  are  probably  all  present  by  the  origin  of  the 
mammals;  at  least,  we  have  no  reason  to  think  that  there  has  been 
further  improvement  along  these  lines. 

What  does  seem  to  have  come  in  later — a  point  that  came  up  in 
yesterday's  panel — is  simply  more  neurons  to  do  the  same  things.  It  is 
a  very  interesting  point  that  more  of  the  same  can  really  lead  to  a 
qualitative  difference.  It  is  not  just  sheer  number  of  neurons;  the  ele- 
phant has  a  much  bigger  brain  than  man,  but  man  is  the  more  in- 

But,  disregarding  special  masses  and  uses,  in  the  over-all  story  it  is 
nonetheless  true  that  increase  in  the  number  of  neurons  available  to 
do  something  seems  to  increase  vastly  the  skill  with  which  it  is  done. 
The  largest  area  in  the  cortex  that  controls  motion  in  man  is  that  asso- 
ciated with  movements  of  the  tongue,  related  to  the  fine  manipula- 
tions of  chewing  and  particularly  to  articulation  and  speech. 

202     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Time  lacks  to  develop  this  further,  but  one  last  point  needs  men- 
tion. There  may  be  (this  is  still  hypothetical)  a  difference  in  the 
amount  of  time  taken  (that  is,  the  amount  of  activity  that  has  to  re- 
verberate around  in  the  brain)  between  the  time  a  message  comes  in 
and  the  time  it  has  fixed  a  memory.  We  have  been  able  to  measure 
this  time  as  something  like  fifteen  minutes.  A  blow  on  the  head  can 
give  a  lasting  amnesia  for  the  preceding  minutes;  an  animal  given  an 
electroshock  each  time  after  running  a  maze  shows  no  progressive 
learning  if  the  shock  occurs  within  fifteen  minutes  after  the  experi- 
ence. This  failure  is  not  due  to  damage  by  the  shock,  because  if  it 
is  given  four  hours  after  the  maze  running,  learning  is  perfectly  good. 

Perhaps  even  learning  can  be  outside  the  brain.  As  I  said  in  opening 
the  panel,  RNA  molecules  may  be  concerned;  and  recent  work  sug- 
gests learning  in  non-neural  parts  of  the  body.  Flatworms  have  been 
conditioned  by  a  bright  light  or  a  sound  to  turn  away  before  a  shock 
is  given.  They  are  then  cut  in  two.  The  head  regenerates  a  tail;  the  tail, 
which,  as  far  as  we  know,  has  no  neurons  in  it,  regenerates  a  head. 
The  regenerated-tail  flatworm  remembers  what  the  whole  worm 
learned.  This  is  an  exciting  problem! 

We  are  nearly  at  the  end  of  the  panel,  and,  rather  than  attempt  a 
summary,  I  am  going  to  ask  each  member  to  indicate  his  vision  of  the 

Brosin:  As  a  clinician,  I  am  sure  that  we  need  much  more  knowl- 
edge of  the  main  facets  of  human  relations.  More  specifically  regard- 
ing problems  of  method,  there  is,  first,  the  problem  of  the  observer 
and  his  effect  upon  the  systems  on  which  he  is  impinging,  including 
such  phenomena  as  transference  and  countertransference.  Second, 
I  should  say,  is  the  problem  of  the  barriers  to  studying  such  component 
systems  and  larger  total  systems  as  reciprocal  relations,  including  the 
dirty  word  "feedback."  A  third  problem  is  the  possible  application  of 
the  complementarity  principle,  enunciated  by  Niels  Bohr  and  sup- 
ported by  J.  Robert  Oppenheimer,  to  the  contradictory  data  we  have 
to  put  up  with  every  day.  And,  finally,  there  are  the  problems  brought 
up  yesterday  in  Panel  Three  by  Waddington  and  Rensch:  better 
methods  for  maintaining  this  very  nice  balance  between  the  forces  of 
animal-man  and  the  requirements  of  society  or  moral  conscience;  be- 
tween the  need  for  stability  as  exemplified  by  the  verities,  and  a  lively 
skepticism  and  a  capacity  for  accelerated  change  that  will  enable  us 
to  survive. 

Critchley:  Briefly,  my  expectations  of  the  future  are  (a)  a  short- 
term  hope  and  (b)  a  long-term  prophecy.  My  short-term  hope  is  (1) 
more  data,  better  documented,  better  observed,  and  better  studied. 


and  (2)  a  get-together  of  pathologists  of  language  with  linguists.  Up 
to  now  this  has  not  happened,  and  it  must. 

My  long-term  prophecy  is  that  in  the  remote  future  the  inhabitants 
of  this  earth  may  possibly  use  some  form  of  communication  other  than 
words,  other  than  a  purely  verbal  system.  If  they  do  not,  there  will 
have  to  be  a  vastly  improved  linguistic  system,  because  at  the  present 
time  words  are  not  enough.  We  have  met  that  fact  already  today: 
four  meanings  for  the  word  "instinct." 

Gantt:  I  do  not  want  to  disguise  my  interest  in  survival,  which  has 
been  emphasized  here.  I  think  increase  in  knowledge,  although  very 
necessary,  will  take  care  of  itself  because  of  the  highly  developed  func- 
tion of  curiosity  in  human  beings.  I  think  we  need  more  studies  of 
group  activities.  Not  only  do  we  need  studies  that  will  enable  us  to 
prevent  the  individual's  getting  into  pathological  conditions — a  big 
problem  at  present — but  we  need  more  studies  of  activity  between 
groups.  I  think  that  the  future  will  depend  on  our  success  in  maintain- 
ing a  balance  between  increasing  knowledge  and  our  ability  to  cope 
with  the  results  of  this  increase. 

Hallow^ell:  In  our  symposium,  nothing  has  been  said  about  per- 
sonality structure.  I  think  that  for  this  evolutionary  problem  we  need 
a  model,  whether  Freudian  or  of  some  other  kind.  The  use  of  such  a 
model  is  necessary  in  concrete  research.  Although  the  word  "mind" 
is  meaningful  and  significant  in  a  broader  way,  for  actual  concrete 
investigations  we  need  such  constructs  as  ego,  even  if  not  in  the  sub- 
stantive sense.  Heinz  Hartmann,  for  example,  has  suggested  that  at  the 
human  level  the  ego  may  be  conceived  to  have  survival  value,  since 
adaptive  functions,  which  at  a  lower  level  are  taken  care  of  by  in- 
stincts, in  man  become  functions  of  the  ego. 

Veith:  As  a  historian,  of  course,  I  have  no  aspirations  toward 
prediction.  I  agree  with  Critchley  that  we  shall  need  many  more  data 
for  better  knowledge.  One  point  that  would  interest  me  very  much  was 
touched  on  by  Hallowell,  namely,  the  rise  of  self -awareness,  of  ego- 
consciousness,  in  the  human  being.  Another  question,  which  one  day 
might  be  solved  by  men  like  Brosin  or  Tinbergen,  is  whether  the  com- 
ing into  existence  of  self-awareness  might  possibly  have  given  rise  to 
the  first  maladaptation. 

Hilgard:  I  see  a  kind  of  division  of  labor  in  the  things  that  need 
doing.  On  the  one  hand,  we  need  to  move  toward  precision;  on  the 
other  hand,  we  have  to  be  careful  that  this  does  not  sterilize  our  in- 
vestigations so  we  do  not  dare  face  larger  and  more  difficult  problems. 
So  I  suppose  one  of  the  things  I  would  urge  is  a  return  to  more  natural- 
istic observations  of  man  with  considerable  freedom;  the  reintroduc- 

204     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

tion,  for  example,  of  the  chapter  on  "will"  into  our  textbooks.  Of 
course,  this  is  a  very  difficult  word,  but  how  do  people  make  plans 
and  fulfil  such  plans  (which,  of  course,  they  do  all  the  time)? 

We  have  to  be  aware  of  our  subject  matter  and  find  appropriate 
ways  of  describing  it.  Because  we  lack  such  ways  now,  we  tend  to 
ignore  some  of  these  problems  by  concentrating  on  others  where 
methods  are  more  precise. 

One  concrete  suggestion  concerning  evolutionary  process  is  that 
we  might  have  a  somewhat  better  taxonomy  of  behavior.  In  the  dis- 
cussion of  brachiation  yesterday,  for  instance,  I  thought  that  this  was 
not  the  best  kind  of  behavior  term.  This  is  essentially  a  taxonomic 
problem:  Would  "prehension"  (a  behavioral  term)  be  any  better  than 
"finger-thumb  opposition"  (an  anatomical  one)?  A  careful  examina- 
tion of  the  kinds  of  threads  we  could  follow  if  we  are  following  a  be- 
havioral pattern  rather  than  a  morphological  one  seems  to  me  to 
need  rather  careful  work.  I  think  the  ethologists  are  helping  us  on  that. 

Huxley:  I  should  like  to  pick  up  what  Hilgard  said.  We  need  much 
more  observation  and  analysis  of  the  actual  facts  of  the  individual 
development  of  mind  in  our  own  species:  development  of  the  inte- 
riorization  of  our  environment  and  of  its  organization  and  adaptive 
types  of  organization;  the  investigation  of  critical  periods  for  learning 
languages  and  other  things,  for  the  development  of  conscience,  and 
so  on.  And  then  the  very  exciting  new  idea  that  Waddington  threw 
into  the  discussion  yesterday,  the  idea  that  the  human  infant  is  geneti- 
cally equipped  with  something  analogous  to  an  imprinting  mechanism 
for  beliefs,  for  accepting  what  he  is  told.  Of  course,  the  beliefs  and 
ideas  afterward  have  to  be  corrected  by  education  and  experience,  but 
they  are  based  on  some  sort  of  acceptance  mechanism. 

And  then,  on  a  more  general  line,  I  hope  that  more  attention  will  be 
paid  to  what  Gerard  stressed,  that  what  we  are  dealing  with  in  the 
rise  of  mind  is  always  connected  with  the  reverberation — a  nice  word 
— of  sensory  input  within  a  bounded  field  system  before  it  issues  in 
motor  output.  To  me,  the  crucial  point  is  how  this  bounded  field 
system  of  reverberation  arises  and  how  it  generates  consciousness. 

VON  Muralt:  I  think  that  the  situation  of  the  neurologists  is  some- 
thing like  that  of  the  astronomers.  We  are  beginning  to  understand  a 
little  bit  about  the  functioning  of  a  single  motor  unit  or  a  single  nerve 
cell,  and  the  more  we  learn,  the  more  we  see  that  we  are  just  at  the 
beginning  of  understanding.  When  we  realize  that  in  one  gram  of 
brain  substance  there  are  several  millions  of  such  interrelated  cells,  I 
think  the  only  attitude  we  can  have  toward  the  future  is  one  of  pessi- 
mistic courage. 

Tinbergen:  My  views  about  what  I  consider  most  urgent  have 


come  out  during  the  discussion,  but  I  could  briefly  sum  them  up 
again.  I  am  very  much  interested  in  attempts  to  apply  biological  con- 
cepts and  methods  to  the  behavior  of  animals  and  of  human  beings. 
I  feel  that  we  have  merely  skimmed  the  surface.  I  think  we  ought  to 
develop,  in  both  width  and  depth,  the  comparative  study  of  closely 
related  species,  especially,  of  course,  the  primates.  Further,  I  feel 
we  ought  to  give  more  attention  to  the  survival  value  of  behavioral 
aspects,  in  order  to  understand  what  natural  selection  has  done  to 
behavior.  Then,  of  course,  the  genetics  of  behavior  must  be  studied 
much  more  intensely;  and,  last,  the  application  of  artificial  natural 
selection  in  the  laboratory  has  been  shown  to  be  possible  in  certain 
cases  and  should  be  continued  on  a  much  larger  scale. 

Gerard:  I  would  say  a  word  in  closing  about  my  own  picture  of 
the  future  development  of  the  human  mind.  We  hear  a  great  deal  of 
discussion  about  man's  improving  his  brain  by  genetic  processes.  I 
have  no  doubt  that  we  have  enough  knowledge  to  breed  for  anything 
we  agreed  upon.  The  trouble  is  that  we  don't  know  what  we  want  to 
breed  for,  and  our  social  institutions  do  not  encourage  that  sort  of 

A  second  way  of  improvement  would  be  by  making  maximum  use  of 
the  developmental  capacities  of  the  nervous  system,  to  which  Huxley 
just  alluded;  and  I  have  no  doubt  from  the  experimental  evidence 
that  putting  more  in  earlier  can  develop  better  patterns  of  activity. 
Whether  you  can  do  this  later  on  is  very  doubtful;  but  young  children 
can  be  taught  a  lot  more  than  they  often  are. 

A  third  aspect  is  that,  as  man  has  learned  to  supplement  his  muscles 
with  bulldozers  and  donkey  engines  and  his  sense  organs  with  radar 
and  photocells,  he  is  now  learning  to  supplement  his  central  decision- 
making processes  and  reasoning  processes  with  other  instruments  that 
have  come  to  be  called  "computers" — a  kind  of  organism  that  is 
evolving  more  rapidly  than  anything  else  in  the  world.  It  is  going 
to  be  possible  to  help  our  brains  with  these  to  a  significant  degree. 

Finally,  the  most  important  thing  of  all,  of  course,  is  not  the  mind 
of  individual  man  but  the  collective  mind  of  collective  man.  This  is 
more  than  just  a  term,  because  we  are  developing  organs  of  society, 
such  as  Hbraries  and  writing,  the  modern  techniques  of  reclaiming 
knowledge,  with  "sensory"  machines,  the  punch-card  machines  that 
filter  out  and  organize  facts,  and  so  on.  These  are  very  powerful  tech- 
niques and  are  the  beginning  of  the  answer  to  Critchley's  request  for 
something  more  than  words  in  the  future. 

Since  the  whole  magnificent  picture  of  evolution  is,  after  all,  the 
product  of  human  brains,  I  cannot  beheve  that  human  brains  will  not 
be  able  to  find  solutions  to  the  ways  of  men  influencing  one  another 

206     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

that  are  superior  to  that  old,  inefficient,  and  very  destructive  one  of 
beating  people  over  the  head,  whether  with  clubs  or  atom  bombs.  This 
is  the  great  hope  of  the  future  of  the  sciences  of  behavior — that  man 
will  learn  to  interact  effectively.  I  am  more  optimistic  than  my  fellow 


Chairmen:  Clyde  Kluckhohn  and  Alfred  L.  Kroeber 

Panelists:    Robert  M.  Adams;  Edgar  Anderson;  Sir  Julian  Huxley; 

Hermann  J.  Muller;  Fred  Polak;  Julian  Steward;  Leslie  A. 

White;  Gordon  R.  Willey 


In  Panel  Five  we  deal  specifically  with  those  creations  of  societies  of 
man  which  summatively  we  call  "culture."  Culture  is  an  extrasomatic 
or  exosomatic  body  of  products,  including  languages  and  systems  of 
ideas  or  sentiments,  or,  viewed  diachronically,  a  flow  of  such  products. 
The  term  "culture"  is  used  here  as  the  most  widely  employed  with  the 
broadest  meaning  in  anthropology  and  other  sciences  of  human  social- 
ized behavior.  Culture  has  structure,  patterns,  and  functions.  It  chan- 
nels human  activities.  While  always  the  product  of  man,  past  or  pres- 
ent, it  also  affects  and  inescapably  influences  man,  especially  when 
men  are  congregated  in  societies. 

The  concept  of  the  evolution  of  culture  challenges  us  to  recognize 
or  perceive  the  nature  of  order  in  cultural  change  and  to  formulate 
principles  which  systematize  such  order.  The  principle  of  evolution  as 
applied  to  culture  followed  in  the  wake  of  the  idea  of  human  progress 
which  developed  in  western  Europe  in  the  seventeenth  century,  spread 
widely  in  the  eighteenth,  and  became  an  almost  universal  a  priori 
principle  and  sentiment  in  the  nineteenth.  This  idea  of  progress,  there- 
fore, definitely  antedated  the  recognition  of  both  the  concept  of  cul- 
ture and  the  principle  of  evolution.  It  must  be  assumed  to  have  had  a 
heavy  influence  in  aiding  acceptance  of  the  principle  of  evolution 
after  1859.  After  about  1890  it  began  to  be  recognized  in  anthropo- 
logical science  that  the  assumption  of  inherent  human  progress  was 
mainly  an  a  priori  sentiment  with  a  posteriori  selective  shoring-up.  The 
result  was  first  an  "antievolutionary"  reaction,  really  directed  against 
ethnocentrism,  and  then  a  gradual  effort  (Childe,  Redfield)  at  em- 


208     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

pirical  determination  of  definable  progress  comparable  to  "grades" 
in  biological  evolution. 

Points  for  Discussion 

1.  In  a  consideration  of  cultural  evolution  we  are  concerned  with 
past,  continuing,  and  future  interactions  of  societies  or  individuals 
under  the  influence  of  culture.  At  the  same  time,  we  are  con- 
cerned with  the  interrelations  between  cultural  evolution,  on  the 
one  hand,  and  both  the  biological  evolution  of  man  and  other 
organisms  and  the  changing  physical  environment,  on  the  other. 

2.  The  unique  abiUty  of  human  beings  to  produce  culture  is  due  to 
their  special  faculty  of  symbolizaition,  which  produces  both  lan- 
guage and  the  probably  related  ability  to  abstract,  to  superadd 
concepts  to  percepts.  These  faculties  allow  knowledge  and  ideas 
to  be  communicated,  stored,  and  accumulated.  The  consequence 
is  that  culture,  like  speech,  is  always  acquired  by  learning.  It  is 
not  congenital.  This  is  a  great  advantage,  allowing  much  more 
rapid  adaptation  to  environment  and  more  rapid  evolutionary  ad- 

3.  In  man,  biological  evolution  through  gene  shuffling,  selection, 
and  mutation  can  go  on  simultaneously  with  cultural  evolution, 
and  they  are  both  operative.  But  cultural  evolution  has  become 

—  much  the  more  effective  and  dominant.  The  time  seems  past  when 
biological  evolution,  in  any  single  species  other  than  man  or  in 
all  of  them  combined,  could  rival  or  surpass  man's  cultural  evo- 
lution. The  opposite  seems  already  to  be  true. 

4.  As  far  as  we  know  now,  cultural  evolution  in  Homo  sapiens  is 
essentially  independent  of  gene  differences  between  human  sub- 
groups or  races.  In  that  respect,  the  courses  of  organic  and  of 
cultural  evolution  are  different. 

5.  While  involving  reticulate  aspects,  especially  among  the  lower 
taxa,  biological  evolution  generally  takes  the  form  of  a  branching 
tree  made  up  of  diverging  lines  of  descent.  The  lines  of  cultural 
descent  may  run  parallel,  or  they  may  diverge  through  innova- 
tion, isolation,  adaptation  to  a  local  environment,  etc.,  but  at  the 
same  time  they  converge  and  commingle  through  contact,  spread, 
diffusion,  communication.  Cultural  evolution  is  different  from 
biological  evolution,  in  that  aspects  of  culture— ideas,  techniques, 
institutions— can  be  almost  indefinitely  combined  and  hybridized, 
regardless  of  the  disshnilarities  between  the  cultures  that  produced 

6.  Cultural  accumulation  occurs  in  economy,  technology,  and  sci- 
ence. Small-unit  social  groupings  such  as  the  family  tend  to  per- 


sist,  while  larger  political  integrations  tend  to  be  superadded  and 
to  dominate.  In  other  fields,  especially  the  styHstic  aspects  of  cul- 
ture, successful  creative  efforts  come  mostly  in  non-cumulative 
intermittent  bursts  or  pulses. 

7.  On  account  of  their  constant  interflow,  cultural  phenomena  allow 
cross-cutting  classification  into  equally  valid  ( 1 )  historical  units 
of  cultures  ("civilizations")  or  (2)  abstracted  "levels  of  integra- 
tion" (Steward).  The  civilizations  correspond  imperfectly  to  bio- 
logical clades  or  taxa;  both  represent  sequences  of  historic  con- 
tinuity, and  both  show  potentialities  for  survival  value  and  fur- 
ther advancement.  Sociocultural  levels  or  stages  correspond 
roughly  to  the  biological  "grades"  attained  by  innovating  ana- 
genetic  improvement  and  maintained  by  stasigenetic  persistence. 

8.  Organic  evolution  is  always  continuous,  as  are  cultural  evolution 
and  human  history.  But  it  is  punctuated  by  relatively  brief  periods 
of  crucial  change,  in  which  previously  non-dominant  forms  of  life 
achieve  an  evolutionary  breakthrough  to  a  new  level  or  grade  of 
organization  and  capacities.  This  new  grade  then  undergoes  rapid 
and  intensive  adaptive  radiation  and  attains  dominance,  main- 
tained thereafter  with  lessened  change.  Examples  are  the  taking- 
over  of  dominance  from  Triassic-Cretaceous  reptiles  by  warm- 
blooded mammals  and  birds  at  the  beginning  of  the  Tertiary  and 
also  the  breakthrough  of  cultural  evolution  with  man  in  the 

9.  Within  human  cultural  evolution  several  corresponding  major 
critical  breakthroughs  (sometimes  called  "revolutions"  in  pre- 
history and  history)  have  been  discerned  in  the  accumulating  em- 
pirical evidence.  These  are  ( 1 )  food  production,  beginning  grad- 
ually about  7000  B.C.;  (2)  a  syndrome  centering  around  3000 
B.C.,  in  which  writing,  metallurgy,  urbanization,  and  political  ^ 
structures  were  first  evolved;  (3)  from  about  600  B.C.,  religions 
organized  both  doctrinally  and  institutionally;  (4)  beginning 
about  A.D.  1 600,  a  level  or  grade  of  civilization  characterized  by 
the  rapid  and  progressive  development  of  science,  technology, 
invention,  industry,  and  wealth. 

10.  In  the  light  of  present  evidence,  these  respective  advances  con- 
cerned primarily  subsistence  in  stage  1,  general  civilization  in  2, 
religion  in  3,  and  secular  activities  in  4,  with  definite,  perhaps 
reactive,  change  of  emphasis  or  direction  in  each  surge  as  com- 
pared with  the  preceding  one.  A  world-wide  spread  (roughly 
corresponding  to  "adaptive  radiation")  in  the  fourth  stage  is  ap- 
parently still  taking  place.  When  it  shall  have  covered  our  planet, 
a  degree  of  temporary  stabilization  may  occur. 

1 1 .  While  adaptation  on  the  part  of  the  organism  has  been  strongly 

210     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Stressed  as  a  primary  factor  and  result  in  the  evolution  of  ani- 
mals and  plants,  both  by  Darwin  and  by  modern  evolutionists, 
it  has  been  a  much  smaller  consideration  in  the  exosomatic  physi- 
cal and  organic  environment  through  selection.  The  function  of 
culture  is  not  only  to  adapt  man  to  his  environment  but  also  to 
adapt  man's  environment  to  himself  by  suitably  modifying  it. 

12.  The  basic  and  primal  inventions  of  culture — fire,  clothing,  shelter 
and  constructions,  tools  and  weapons,  food  preparation,  cook- 
ing and  cooking  utensils,  storage  of  surplus  food  and  later  food 
production  by  farming  and  herding — all  these  modify,  change, 
or  abolish  difficulties  existing  in  the  natural  environment  by 
(partly)  substituting  an  artificial  (man-made)  environment  of 
artifacts.  This  indispensable  material  basis  of  human  culture  is 
subsumed  under  the  term  "technology"  and  remains  the  chief 
means  of  subjugating  environment  as  well  as  adapting  to  it. 

13.  The  result  of  points  11  and  12  is  that  most  anthropologists  and 
students  of  culture  have  been  less  concerned  with  adaptation  and 
its  relentless  flow  than  have  biologists.  They  deal  with  change, 
advance,  accumulation,  and  interpersonal  and  intersocietal  proc- 
esses, which  they  have  often  assumed  to  be  non-adaptive.  Their 
concerns  are  usually  microdynamic.  Even  the  term  "evolution" 
tends  to  be  avoided,  partly  through  persisting  reaction  against  the 
speculative  pseudo-evolutionistic  excesses  of  anthropologists  in 
the  immediate  post- 1859  period.  As  to  the  macrodynamics'^of  cul- 
tural evolution,  its  causes  and  principles,  and  its  interrelations 
with  biological  evolution,  there  is  as  yet  no  general  agreement. 
For  the  near  future  this  subject  needs  careful  research.  This  is 
necessary  as  a  basis  for  any  attempt  to  predict  or  control  the  di- 
rection of  cultural  evolution. 

14.  The  nearest  counterpart  in  anthropology  and  the  social  sciences 
to  genetic  evolutionary  science  appears  to  be  carried  on  mainly 
under  the  name  of  "culture  history"  (including  prehistory)  and 
is  naturalistic,  empirical,  hohstic,  seeking  continuities  and  con- 
nections rather  than  phenomenal  identities  or  "regularities"  and 
yet  ready  to  accept  such  "regularities"  and  punctuating  cultural 
"revolutions"  insofar  as  these  are  demonstrable.  Such  knowledge 
is  important  for  gaining  a  timely  and  adequate  insight  into  the 
processes  forming  the  future. 

15.  The  very  historization  of  understanding  in  science  which  our 
present  fourth  critical  stage  of  innovation  has  brought  with  it  in- 
volves greater  awareness  of  evolution  and  of  the  future  as  well 
as  the  past.  This  awareness  will  no  doubt  produce  efforts  to  di- 
rect the  course  of  evolution.  No  precedent  exists  for  predicting 
what  success  such  efforts  may  have. 


Whether  the  next  grade  be  attained  automatically  or  partly  by 
willed  planning,  the  orientation  and  kind  of  its  innovations  con- 
stitute a  most  significant  problem.  The  advances  of  modern  sci- 
ence and  technology  in  gaining  deeper  understanding  of  physical, 
biological,  and  cultural  phenomena  and  in  devising  means  of 
controlling  them  place  in  man's  hands  tools  of  unprecedented 
power.  The  use  of  these  with  insufficient  foresight  could  have 
undesirable  and  even  disastrous  biological  and  cultural  conse- 
quences. Conversely,  their  use  with  foresight  would  offer  possi- 
bilities of  human  evolution  both  cultural  and  biological  far  ex- 
ceeding those  of  the  past.  What  happens  in  these  fields  will  de- 
pend increasingly  upon  the  nature  of  the  goals  set  and  the  means 
employed,  provided  that  men  succeed  in  extending  wisdom  and 
conscience  into  this  sphere.  Here  is  an  enormous  new  field  for 
a  rethinking  of  the  problems  of  human  life  and  of  life  in  general 
from  the  bottom  up,  taking  into  consideration  everything  that  the 
past  has  taught  us. 

The  Discussion 

Kluckhohn:  There  have  been  many  leads  into  this  panel  from  the 
others.  Simpson  reminded  us  that  cultural  evolution  is  also  a  bio- 
logical adaptation.  Waddington  said  that  man  has  invented  for  him- 
self a  new  evolutionary  system,  since  writing,  which  is  one  important 
way  of  preserving  and  transmitting  culture,  has  functions  analo- 
gous to  those  of  the  DNA  chain.  Huxley  suggested  that  the  course  of 
cultural  evolution  centers  on  a  kind  of  natural  selection  among  a 
procession  of  ideas  that  are  successful  for  longer  or  shorter  periods. 
Everyone  concedes  that  cultural  evolution  is  an  extension  to  biological 
evolution,  yet  different  from  it.  But  different  to  what  degree  and  in 
what  respects?  To  what  extent  does  either  process  involve  or  con- 
strain or  channel  the  other?  Such  propositions  are  immensely  debat- 
able. Let  us  return,  for  example,  to  Waddington's  statement  that  the 
new  system  for  the  transmission  of  information,  depending  on  the 
printed  page,  implied  a  new  system  of  evolution.  I  myself  like  that 
formulation,  but  I  am  not  sure  that  all  my  colleagues  accept  it. 

It  should  be  underlined  that,  while  all  the  propositions  in  our  agenda 
have  some  evidence  or  authority  behind  them  and  a  number  of  them 
are  regarded  by  all  members  of  this  panel  as  empirically  established, 
others  are  disputed.  The  weighting  and  phrasing  of  still  other  issues 
are  arguable.  Some  of  these  disagreements  and  shadings  will  emerge 
in  the  discussion. 

Over  and  above  questions  about  the  trend  of  the  facts  and  the  in- 
terpretation of  such  trends,  there  remains  the  vexing  question  whether 

212     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  concepts  of  contemporary  anthropology  are  adequate  for  valid 
analysis.  For  instance,  do  we  have  sound  taxonomic  bases  for  a  cul- 
tural typology,  Mayr  has  rightly  said  that  you  can't  talk  about  dy- 
namic flow  until  you  can  recognize  types.  There  are  other  crucial  prob- 
lems. How  much  transformation  occurs  in  social  change — how  much 
abrupt  alteration  of  cultural  principles? 

But  enough  of  these  preliminary  remarks.  I  shall  now  ask  Kroeber 
to  initiate  the  consideration  of  point  one  of  the  agenda: 

In  a  consideration  of  cultural  evolution  we  are  concerned 
with  past,  continuing,  and  future  interactions  of  societies  or 
individuals  under  the  influence  of  culture.  At  the  same  time, 
we  are  concerned  with  the  interrelations  between  cultural 
evolution,  on  the  one  hand,  and  both  the  biological  evolution 
of  man  and  other  organisms  and  the  changing  physical  en- 
vironment, on  the  other. 

In  so  doing,  he  will  necessarily  explicate  some  parts  of  the  Pre- 

Kroeber:  While  the  word  "evolution"  is  applied  to  life,  to  the 
earth,  to  the  cosmos,  the  usual  term  in  human  affairs  is  "history." 
I  submit  that,  except  for  certain  overtones  of  connotation,  the  two^ 
words  mean  the  same  thing,  namely,  long-term  change. 

Even  more  important  than  Darwin's  establishing  that  change  ini 
life-forms  occurs,  and  through  natural  selection,  is  the  fact  that,  until 
1859,  all  sciences  were  essentially  static.  It  was  Darwin  who  triggered 
the  sciences  dealing  with  the  earth,  life,  and  culture  into  becoming 
more  macrodynamic  or  historic. 

The  first  broad  and  influential  idea  of  gradualistic  development  in 
any  domain,  though  still  a  prescientific  and  semiphilosophical  notion, 
was  the  assumption  of  human  social  progress.  This  idea  seemingly 
originated  in  France,  two  hundred  years  before  Darwin,  and  spread 
to  England,  western  Europe,  and  America.  It  had  built  up  a  tremen- 
dous pressure  of  public  opinion  behind  the  dam  of  behef  in  non-change 
of  a  static  world,  which  dogma  and  a  habituated  static  science  had 
jointly  long  maintained.  This  pressure  helped  enlarge  Darwin's  great, 
but  specifically  biological,  discovery  into  a  still  greater  breakthrough 
affecting  all  science. 

It  was  from  thinking  socially  about  culture,  where  it  is  an  actual 
process,  that  the  idea  of  transmission  of  acquired  characters  was  er- 
roneously introduced  into  biology  by  Lamarck,  Herbert  Spencer,  and 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  first  phylogeny  supported  by  evidence, 
that  of  the  Indo-European  language  family,  was  established  in  the 
field  of  the  so-cafled  humanities  seventy  years  before  Darwin. 


Huxley:  I  entirely  agree  with  Kroeber.  We  know  there  is  com- 
plete continuity  between  man  and  prehuman  animals;  we  also  know 
that  man  is  a  very  unusual  and,  indeed,  unique  kind  of  animal.  This 
transition  from  animal  to  unique  animal  meant  crossing  a  threshold 
to  a  new  kind  or  phase  of  evolution,  which  may  be  called  "cultural" 
or  "human"  or  "psychosocial."  The  panel  yesterday  pointed  out  that 
it  took  at  least  a  quarter  of  a  million  years  to  pass  this  threshold.  The 
transition  led  into  a  new  phase  of  evolution,  with  new  mechanisms 
of  transmission  and  transformation.  As  Kroeber  said,  the  cumulative 
transmission  of  experience  is  a  second  method  of  inheritance,  acting 
like  an  inheritance  of  acquired  characters. 

We  have,  therefore,  new  methods  of  directing  change.  The  process 
of  natural  selection  is  teleonomic,  to  use  Pittendrigh's  useful  term.  It 
directs  change  toward  better  chances  of  survival — which  include 
higher  organization  and  more  efficient  physiological  functions — but 
without  conscious  purpose  or  planning.  In  man  we  have  the  begin- 
ning of  a  process  that  is,  in  the  strict  sense  of  the  word,  teleological, 
since  purpose — consciously  or  unconsciously,  but,  in  any  case,  sub- 
jectively, wanting  to  do  something  that  is  envisaged  in  the  future — 
comes  in.  Thus  you  have  a  changeover  from  a  teleonomic  to  a  strictly 
teleological  mechanism.  And  selection  is  exercised,  not  mainly  by 
the  differential  survival  of  variants  (to  use  the  rather  forbidding 
terminology  of  Panel  Two),  not  by  natural  selection,  but  by — well, 
the  anthropologists  will  have  to  find  out  what  is  the  right  term;  per- 
haps telic  selection  would  serve.  For  the  present,  I  shall  merely  call 
it  "psychosocial  selection."  This  implies  that  there  is  some  kind  of 
competition  for  survival  and  further  development  among  ideas,  social 
systems,  and  types  of  culture.  As  a  result  of  this  new  mechanism,  the 
whole  process  moves  much  faster.  Instead  of  reckoning  major  ad- 
vance in  tens  of  millions  of  years,  we  reckon  it  in  centuries. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  there  is  another  crucial  new  consequence  of 
the  new  methods  of  psychosocial  evolution.  If  averaged  out  over  the 
whole  two  and  one-half  billion  years  of  biological  evolution,  the  rate 
of  evolution  would  be  more  or  less  uniform,  going  up  and  down,  but 
always  around  a  certain  average  rate.  In  psychosocial  evolution  it  is 
quite  clear  that,  at  least  in  the  last  few  millennia  and  especially  in  the 
last  few  centuries,  there  has  been  an  acceleration  instead  of  a  more 
or  less  uniform  rate. 

As  a  result  of  all  these  differences,  the  products  of  psychosocial 
evolution  are  totally  new  and  unlike  anything  produced  by  biological 
evolution.  They  are  cultural  products,  like  science,  rehgion,  art,  and 
law.  I  thought  Waddington's  contribution  to  the  discussion  in  Panel 
Three  was  extremely  relevant.  He  pointed  out  that  certain  new  built-in 

214     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

mechanisms  of  mind  were  desirable  and,  indeed,  necessary  for  this 
sort  of  evolution  to  work:  especially  a  built-in  acceptability  of  what 
we  are  told  by  our  parents  and  our  elders  and  betters.  Later,  of  course, 
we  have  to  be  educated  or  educate  ourselves  out  of  accepting  such 
ideas  and  beliefs  as  absolute.  But  our  beliefs  and  values  are  originally 
based  on  this  quite  new  method  of  transmission. 

Muller:  As  stated  in  the  discussion  of  man  as  an  organism,  bio- 
logical evolution  laid  a  genetic  basis  for  those  faculties  of  body  and 
mind  that  were  necessary  before  culture  could  develop.  Among  these 
were  adroit  hands,  general  intelligence,  a  social  co-operative  nature, 
and,  more  specifically,  symbolizing  faculties — urges  to  vocalize,  to 
communicate,  and  to  imitate — and  facility  in  manipulation.  Not  only 
did  the  use  of  these  faculties  actually  result  in  the  gradual  accumula- 
tion of  primitive  culture,  but,  reciprocally,  the  modes  of  life  opened 
up  by  culture  gave  increasing  opportunity  for  the  effective  exercise 
of  these  very  faculties  and  so  bestowed  an  increasing  relative  advantage 
in  the  struggle  for  existence  on  those  individuals,  families,  and  groups 
of  famihes  in  which  these  faculties  were  better  developed.  That  is, 
by  putting  a  premium  on  these  faculties,  culture  intensified  the  natural 
selection  whereby  their  genetic  basis  was  still  further  improved.  Thus 
in  the  hominids  and  hominines  there  must,  on  the  whole,  have  been 
a  positive  feedback  lasting  for  a  long  time,  whereby  cultural  evolu- 
tion aided  biological  evolution  and  vice  versa. 

However,  as  culture  advanced  to  the  stage  of  larger  and  fewer 
groups,  natural  selection  among  groups  necessarily  became  inefficient. 
And  as  the  social  relations  within  these  groups  resulted  in  a  more  ef- 
fective extension  of  aid  to  individuals  and  families  in  need  of  it,  nat- 
ural selection  within  groups  also  slackened  off.  Today  it  is  evident 
that  these  two  processes  are  rapidly  approaching  their  limit,  that  of 
a  world-wide  de  facto  socialized  community  where  everyone  is  helped 
to  live  according  to  his  need  and  to  reproduce  according  to  his  greed 
— his  lack  of  foresight,  skill,  or  scruple. 

Thus  we  cannot  extrapolate  from  the  past  to  the  future  and  say 
that  culture  will  inevitably  result  in  biological  betterment.  On  the 
contrary,  there  is  now  a  negative  feedback  from  culture  to  genetics; 
for,  as  Rensch  pointed  out  in  Panel  Three,  the  saving  of  lives  for  re- 
production by  ever  more  efficient  medical  and  other  technical  and 
sociological  aids  inevitably  results  in  an  increasing  accumulation  of 
randomly  occurring  detrimental  mutations.  These  must  adversely  af- 
fect health,  mtellect,  powers  of  appreciation  and  expression,  and  the 
genetic  basis  even  of  our  co-operative  disposition  itself. 

At  the  same  time,  the  disappearance  of  subdivision  into  small  groups 
removes  the  basis  for  evolutionary  experiments  that  result  in  break- 


throughs,  as  Wright  pointed  out  in  Panel  Two.  In  fact,  with  our  co- 
operative disposition  that  forms  the  biological  foundation  of  the  all- 
important  human  system  of  morals  and  values,  the  processes  pointed 
out  by  Wright  come  into  play  even  more  strongly.  Without  subdivi- 
sion into  small  competing  groups,  there  is  no  effective  check  on  the 
higher  multiplication  rate  of  those  individuals  whose  genes  tend  to 
result  in  social  parasitism,  that  is,  in  self-aggrandizement  at  the  ex- 
pense of  the  group  as  a  whole.  Here,  beyond  the  mere  passive  ac- 
cumulation of  detrimental  mutations,  there  is  a  more  rapid  deteriora- 
tion through  active  selection  in  a  direction  antagonistic  to  the  welfare 
of  the  group;  and,  by  a  curious  inversion,  the  less  fit  for  the  species 
as  a  whole  become  the  more  fit  in  the  narrow  sense  of  reproductive 

Any  attempt  by  culture  to  deal  with  these  difficulties  by  amehora- 
tive  measures  directed  only  at  the  phenotype  and  lessening  for  the  im- 
mediate generation  the  harm  done  by  the  given  genetic  variations 
is  ultimately  self-defeating  because  of  their  greater  accumulation. 

Kluckhohn:  It  is  a  great  pleasure  to  hear  a  famous  geneticist  talk 
so  eloquently  about  culture  and  negative  feedback  from  culture  to 
genetics.  But  I  think  I  should  warn  you,  sir,  that  you  had  better  be 
careful,  or,  like  our  fellow  panelist  Huxley,  you  will  find  yourself 
honored  with  an  editorial  in  the  World's  Greatest  Newspaper. 
I  One  topic  that  Muller  introduced  was  the  role  of  symbols.  In  an 
exceedingly  influential  paper  some  twenty  years  ago  Leslie  White 
forcefully  and  clearly  wrote  about  the  symbol  as  the  basis  of  human 

White:  In  the  Descent  of  Man  Charles  Darwin  argued  that  man 
is  not  a  unique  animal,  that  his  mind  differs  from  those  of  other  ani- 
mals merely  in  degree  and  not  in  kind.  This  question  is  still  open,  and 
reputable  scientists  are  arrayed  on  both  sides.  But  I  believe  there  is 
enough  evidence  to  close  the  question  once  and  for  all  and  to  estab- 
lish the  uniqueness  of  man  beyond  doubt — which  means,  of  course, 
that  I  place  myself  among  those  who  believe  that  man  is  a  unique 

.     The  trait  or  characteristic  that  distinguishes  man  from  all  other 

I  animals  is  the  ability  freely  and  arbitrarily  to  originate  and  bestow 

meaning  upon  things  in  the  external  world  and  to  grasp  and  compre- 

j  hend  these  meanings.  I  should  like  to  call  this  the  "ability  to  symbol," 

and  I  should  like  to  use  the  word  "symbol"  as  a  verb.  I  think  it  would 

be  much  better  to  say  that  man  has  the  ability  to  symbol  than  to  say 

i  that  he  symbolizes.  Since  there  is  a  kind  of  behavior  that  consists  of 

originating  and  bestowing  meaning  upon  things,  why  not  give  it  a 

name,  and  why  not  recognize  it  as  a  verb  and  call  it  "symbol"? 

216     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

"Symboling"  can  be  illustrated  by  articulate  speech,  or  fetishes 
or  holy  water.  Holy  water,  for  example,  has  a  meaning  that  has  been  ' 
originated,  determined,  and  bestowed  upon  it,  which  cannot  be  grasped 
and  comprehended  with  the  senses.  Symboling  is  essentially  a  process » 
of  trafficking  in  meanings  that  cannot  be  comprehended  with  senses  > 
alone.  There  is  no  way  to  distinguish  holy  water  from  ordinary  water 
with  the  senses  or  by  any  means  of  physical  or  chemical  analysis.  The 
same  is  true  of  fetishes  or  of  the  sounds  of  which  articulate  speech  is 
composed.  Of  course,  articulate  speech  is  the  most  important  and  char- 
acteristic form  or  expression  of  symboling. 

At  this  point  it  might  be  well  to  note  that  green  triangles  and  redl; 
circles  used  in  laboratory  experiments  with  rats  are  not  symbols,  al- 
though they  resemble  symbols  at  some  points.  The  meanings  of  sym-  • 
bols  are  not  inherent  in  their  physical  forms.  These  red  triangles  and  I 
green  circles  are  not  symbols  because  the  rats  do  not  and  cannot  de-  • 
termine  their  significance  or  endow  these  physical  forms  with  it.  This ; 
is  done  by  the  experimenter.  The  rats  can  learn  these  meanings,  but 
they  cannot  originate  and  determine  and  bestow  them.  This  is  the  • 
fundamental  difference  between  the  mind  of  man  and  that  of  other 
animals,  and  it  is  the  only  thing  that  does  distinguish  man  in  any  sig- 
nificant manner  from  other  animals. 

So  far  as  I  have  been  able  to  discover,  virtually  nothing  is  known  i 
about  the  neurological  basis  and  mechanism  of  symboling.  In  my  paper 
for  this  Centennial,  I  tried  to  show  that  the  ability  to  symbol  is  the 
logical  and  biological  culmination  of  a  process  of  the  evolution  of 
"minding"  that  began  with  the  origin  of  life.  I  am  not  going  to  dis- 
cuss the  four  stages  in  the  evolution  of  minding  at  this  point.  I  might, 
however,  say  in  closing  that  the  ability  to  symbol,  prunarily  in  its  ex- 
pression in  articulate  speech,  is  the  basis  and  substance  of  all  human 
behavior.  It  was  the  means  by  which  culture  was  brought  into  exist- 
ence and  the  means  of  its  perpetuation  since  the  origin  of  man. 

Kroeber:  White  has  just  mentioned  that  symbols  in  language  and 
culture  have  a  quality  of  arbitrariness.  That  may  sound  as  if  it  dimin- 
ished their  value.  But  it  is  an  inherent  property  of  symbols.  And  it  is  ^ 
important  because  it  makes  it  necessary  for  symbols  to  be  learned. 
They  can  be  acquired  only  by  learning;  on  account  of  their  very  arbi- 
trariness, they  cannot  be  congenital  and  instinctive.  This  is  a  conse- 
quence of  culture's  being — as  was  said  in  our  agenda — exosomatic. 

That  word  exosomatic — "outside  the  body" — bothers  some  people; 
but  there  is  no  doubt  that  culture  is  produced  and  used  by  man  much 
as  a  coral  reef  is  exosomatic  in  being  produced  by  the  bodies  of  polyps 
and  then  becoming  the  basis  of  their  environment.  Both  coral  reefs 
and  culture— I  am  aware  of  the  contrast,  and  it  is  deliberate,  but  there 


is  the  common  element — are  social  products  of  multiple  lives  of  or- 
ganisms, developing  continuously,  without  saltation  or  leaps,  and  di- 
rectly affecting  the  manner  of  life  of  future  individuals  of  the  species 
— and  sometimes  indirectly  of  other  species  also. 

Coral  reefs  consist  of  calcium  carbonate  of  a  certain  structure. 
Culture  consists  of  artifacts  and  mentifacts  in  reciprocal  counterpart. 
It  is  the  idea  of  a  machine  that  is  acquired  and  transmitted  by  learning, 
but  it  is  the  machine  that  runs.  Books  and  such  are  the  objective  ex- 
pression of  subjective  knowledge,  values,  emotions,  and  idea  systems. 

Huxley:  I  was  most  interested  in  White's  presentation.  But  I  should 
maintain  that  a  superorganism  looking  at  the  process  of  evolution  on 
earth  from  the  outside  would  say  that  man's  uniqueness  definitely  lies 
in  the  cumulative  transmission  of  knowledge.  This  is  a  new  property 
of  evolving  life.  It  depends  on  this  capacity  for  symbolization  but 
is  not  identical  with  it. 

Although,  as  Kroeber  said,  man  has  to  learn  these  symbols,  some- 
thing facilitating  symbolization  must  have  been  put  in  his  germ  plasm 
by  natural  selection.  Man  is  genetically  a  symbolizer,  although  he 
doesn't  know  what  he  is  going  to  symbol.  He  is  genetically  a  believer, 
as  Waddington  pointed  out,  although  what  he  believes  is  not  prede- 
termined. He  is  genetically  a  comprehender,  although  his  compre- 
hension may  go  off  the  rails.  But  he  has  a  genetic  urge  and  a  genetic 
capacity  to  do  these  things. 

Kluckhohn:  We  need  a  biologist  to  lead  us  gently  by  the  hand 
into  point  3: 

In  man,  biological  evolution  through  gene  shuffling,  selec- 
tion, and  mutation  can  go  on  simultaneously  with  cultural 
evolution,  and  they  are  both  operative.  But  cultural  evolu- 
tion has  become  much  the  more  effective  and  dominant.  The 
time  seems  past  when  biological  evolution,  in  any  single 
species  other  than  man  or  in  all  of  them  combined,  could 
rival  or  surpass  man's  cultural  evolution.  The  opposite 
seems  already  to  be  true. 


Anderson:  Man  is  a  part  of  nature.  The  big  evolutionary  explo- 
sion since  the  Pleistocene  is  the  plants,  the  animals,  the  great  unseen 
clouds  of  micro-organisms  that  live  in  and  around  our  homes,  our 
soils,  our  crops,  our  very  bodies.  We  are  in  an  evolutionary  flowering. 
Even  our  weeds  are  new — weeds  like  dandelion,  weeds  like  rats.  Even 
that  deUghtful  fly,  Drosophila,  was  a  garbage-pail  weed  until  domesti- 
cated at  Columbia  University  as  a  great,  evolving,  scientific  tool. 

[Steward:  The  view  that  cultural  evolution  is  psychosocial  (Hux- 

218     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

ley),  exosomatic  (Kroeber),  superorganic,  or  culturological  ascribes 
different  cultural  patterns  to  phenotypical,  rather  than  genotypical, 
determinants;  everyone  agrees  that  cultural  differences  do  not  reflect 
genetic  racial  factors.  This  is  not  to  say,  however,  that  biological  fac- 
tors are  irrelevant  to  the  nature  of  culture.  We  need  only  imagine  a 
society  of  asexual  individuals  who  reproduced  parthenogenetically, 
with  offspring  budded  as  full  adults  from  the  head,  let  us  say,  as 
Athena  sprang  from  Zeus.  Such  a  society  would  lack  families,  kin- 
ship systems  (except  unilinear  ones),  socialization  of  the  young,  sexual 
reciprocity  in  function,  and  age  distinctions  in  role  or  status.]  * 

[Hallowell  has  cogently  stressed  the  importance  of  viewing  human 
society  with  reference  to  societies  among  the  lower  primates.  It  is 
also  worth  noting  that  biological  factors  are  particularly  obtrusive 
in  primitive  societies,  which  are  characteristically  structured  along 
lines  of  sex,  age,  and  kinship.  While  the  panel  has  not  yet  discussed 
whether  cultural,  like  biological,  evolution  is  based  on  universal  prin- 
ciples or  processes,  I  suggest  that  purely  culturological  principles  prob- 
ably manifested  themselves  most  clearly  after  the  agricultural  revolu- 
tion. The  simple  biological  facts  of  life,  of  course,  are  culturally 
patterned  in  many  ways  in  the  primitive  world;  and  they  are  not  ab- 
sent, although  increasingly  overlaid  by  non-biological  configurations, 
in  the  modern  world.] 

Kluckhohn:  If  I  am  not  mistaken,  Polak,  you  think  that  cultural 
evolution  is  more  like  biological  evolution  than  some  of  us  would  hold. 
Is  that  right? 

Polak:  That  is  quite  true.  I  think  that  if  biological  and  cultural 
evolution  are  viewed  as  long-term  processes,  their  over-all  mechanisms 
seem  fairly  identical,  as  do  their  operational  techniques  or  general 
principles  for  transforming  the  past  and  present  into  the  future. 

It  is  my  impression  that  we  have  been  so  eager  to  accentuate  the 
contrasts  that  we  seem  to  have  ignored  this  important  similarity.  Early 
post-Darwinian  biology  and  its  related  sciences  were  primarily  con- 
cerned with  a  reconstruction  of  the  past  and  were  not  much  inter- 
ested in  a  dimension  or  continuum  of  time  that  included  the  future. 
In  the  struggle  against  vitalism  and  similar  theories,  the  idea  of  an 
evolutionary  agency  directed  toward  the  future  was  automatically 
condemned  as  completely  unscientific.  Modern  social  and  behavioral 
sciences,  for  exactly  the  same  reasons,  are  averse  to  using  such  time 
concepts  of  progress.  Most  social  scientists,  afraid  of  mystical  or 
philosophical  implications,  went  to  the  other  extreme  and  excluded 
all  directional  progressive  agencies  from  their  subject  matter. 

*  This  and  other  bracketed  paragraphs  were  submitted  in  writing  after  the  session. 


After  the  victory  of  mechanistic  theories  in  biology,  it  again  be- 
came possible  to  describe  the  mechanisms  of  Darwinian  evolution  in 
terms  of  time  and  orientation  directed  toward  the  future.  Probably 
this  would  have  affected  the  behavioral  sciences,  had  not  genetics, 
meanwhile,  become  dominant  in  biology.  Since  neither  genes  nor 
chromosomes  nor  nucleic  acids  are  factors  in  culture,  which  involves 
mental  and  social  agents,  a  sharp  dividing  line  between  the  two  kinds 
of  evolution  was  maintained  by  most  persons,  sometimes  to  the  point 
of  denying  any  cultural  evolution  at  all. 

I  think  that  cultural  evolution  as  a  long-term  process  is  subject  to 
almost  the  same  guiding  or  directive  agency  as  that  characterizing  bi- 
ological evolution.  It  is  oriented  and  preadapted  toward  the  future 
and  progressive  improvement.  Its  mechanisms  select  cultural  types  by 
preferring  those  types  that,  by  their  power  of  qualified  anticipation, 
have  acquired  optimal  potentiaHties  for  cultural  advancement  to  a 
higher  level.  By  developing  from  an  unconscious  and  mechanical  ad- 
vancement to  a  level  of  conscious  and  purposeful  end-directedness, 
man's  cultural  evolution  widely  overstepped  the  boundaries  of  bio- 
logical evolution. 

Huxley:  I  agree  with  Polak  about  the  similarity — not  the  identity 
— of  many  trends  in  the  course  of  psychosocial  evolution  and  bio- 
logical evolution.  But  it  seems  to  me  a  complete  confusion  of  terms 
to  call  the  mechanisms  similar.  The  mechanism  of  biological  evolu- 
tion is  the  natural  selection  of  genetic  variants.  From  what  has  al- 
ready been  said  here — and  from  all  our  knowledge  of  social  anthro- 
pology and  history — this  is  not  what  is  primarily  operative  in  cultural 
evolution.  Biological  evolution  was  not  deliberate.  It  was  teleonomic, 
in  that  the  blind  mechanism  of  natural  selection  forced  or  guided  it 
along  certain  directions;  but  it  was  not  deliberate  or  purposeful,  as 
cultural  evolution  is  in  part. 

[Stew^ard:  Huxley's  view  of  cultural  evolution  as  partly  "deliberate" 
might  give  the  comforting  thought  that  we  may  in  some  measure  con- 
trol our  destinies.  A  naturalistic  understanding  of  cultural  evolution, 
however,  must  assume  that  goals,  no  less  than  other  aspects  of  culture, 
have  determinable  causes.  In  early  human  evolution,  man,  like  other 
animals,  strove  for  sheer  physical  survival.  Much  later,  this  essentially 
biological  goal  was  supplemented  by  objectives  relating  to  new  kinds 
of  production,  social  statuses,  ethical  systems,  and  religions.  It  is  not 
enough  to  say  that  man  chooses  goals  deliberately  and  with  aware- 
ness. As  students  of  cultural  evolution,  it  is  our  job  to  find  out  why, 
in  each  cultural  tradition  and  development  stage,  man  chooses  some 
goals  and  not  others.] 

220     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Kluckhohn:  Huxley,  would  you  go  on  to  point  4? 

As  far  as  we  know  now,  cultural  evolution  in  Homo  sapiens 
is  essentially  independent  of  gene  differences  between  hu- 
man subgroups  or  races.  In  that  respect,  the  courses  of 
organic  and  of  cultural  evolution  are  different. 

Huxley:  Muller  pointed  out  that  in  the  very  early  stages  of  differ- 
entiation of  hominids  and  hominines,  natural  selection  among  small 
groups  led  to  genetic  differences  between  the  groups.  After  Homo 
sapiens  became  the  dominant  type  and  spread  over  the  world,  he  dif- 
ferentiated into  what  have  been  called  the  major  races  of  mankind 
(in  animals  one  would  call  them  "subspecies")  with  certain  adaptive 
differences  in  structure.  But  this  process  never  reached  the  stage  of 
full  speciation.  Later,  man's  restlessness  and  cultural  habits  brought 
about  convergence  again,  so  that  mankind  is  now  a  single  interbreed- 
ing group  without  sharp  subdivisions.  It  is  extremely  difficult  to  meas- 
ure "racial"  or  ethnic  differences  because  cultures  and  genetic  back- 
grounds interact;  but,  as  far  as  we  know,  cultural  evolution  in  Homo 
sapiens  is  essentially  independent  of  genetic  differences  between  hu- 
man subgroups  or  races.  Significant  genetic  differences  between  races 
are  very  sHght,  and  there  is  an  enormous  amount  of  overlap.  The  main 
differences  resulting  from  cultural  evolution  are  independent  of  these 
genetic  differences. 

Kluckhohn:  Virtually  all  anthropologists  would  be  in  complete 
agreement  with  Huxley. 

We  are  now  going  to  consider  points  5  and  6  jointly: 

5.  While  involving  redculate  aspects,  especially  among  the 
lower  taxa,  biological  evolution  generally  takes  the  form 
of  a  branching  tree  made  up  of  diverging  lines  of  descent. 
The  lines  of  cultural  descent  may  run  parallel,  or  they  may 
diverge  through  innovation,  isolation,  adaptation  to  a 
local  environment,  etc.,  but  at  the  same  time  they  con- 
verge and  commingle  through  contact,  spread,  diffusion, 
communication.  Cultural  evolution  is  different  from  bio- 
logical evolution,  in  that  aspects  of  culture — ideas,  tech- 
niques, institutions — can  be  almost  indefinitely  combined 
and  hybridized,  regardless  of  the  dissimilarities  between  the 
cultures  that  produced  them. 

6.  Cultural  accumulation  occurs  in  economy,  technology, 
and  science.  Small-unit  social  groupings  such  as  the  family 
tend  to  persist,  while  larger  pohtical  integrations  tend  to  be 


superadded  and  to  dominate.  In  other  fields,  especially  the 
stylistic  aspects  of  culture,  successful  creative  efforts  come 
mostly  in  non-cumulative  intermittent  bursts  or  pulses. 

Number  5,  you  will  note,  begins  with  a  characteristic  academese 
phrase:  "While  involving  reticulate  aspects.  .  .  ."  These  are  rather 
dark  words,  and  we  shall  have  to  ask  Anderson  to  tell  us  what  they 
really  mean. 

Anderson:  Just  one  fundamental  philosophical  point.  Phylogenies 
are  constructed  by  the  mind.  Therefore,  when  we  compare  plant  phy- 
logeny  with  cultural  phylogeny,  we  are  not  skating  on  the  useful,  but 
dangerous,  thin  ice  of  analogy.  There  are  two  basic  patterns  for  all 
phylogenies:  relationships  branching  like  a  tree — dendritic — and  those 
like  a  net — reticulate.  We  are  learning  to  think  in  terms  of  a  combina- 
tion of  both  patterns.  We  know  that  there  are  many  intermediates 
between  the  netlike  tree  and  the  treelike  net.  It  takes  the  sharpest 
minds,  with  the  best  data,  to  visualize  the  right  model  and  to  shift 

Kluckhohn:  It  is  time  to  take  up  those  phases  of  cultural  evolu- 
tion that  the  archeologists  know  most  about.  Adams,  I  don't  know 
whether  you  are  more  reticulate  or  more  dendritic,  but  give  us  some 
facts  anyway,  will  you? 

Adams:  I  might  describe  myself  as  more  substantive  and  less  pro- 

Huxley:  Are  you  dendritic? 

Adams:  I  shall  delay  answering  that  question  until  we  have  gone 
a  little  further. 

It  seems  to  me  that  one  of  the  main  functions  of  this  panel  is  to 
deal  with  the  questions  of  progress  and  accumulation  in  culture  and 
to  contrast  these  with  the  biological  record.  That  cultural  accumula- 
tion appears  to  occur  more  rapidly  in  economy,  technology,  and  sci- 
ence seems  self-evident;  yet  it  is  fruitful  to  analyze  and  qualify  this 
seemingly  self-evident  assertion. 

One  who  approaches  this  question  from  the  kind  of  data  to  which 
the  historian  or  the  archeologist  is  accustomed  should  be  aware  at 
the  outset  that  he  cannot  escape  from  certain  built-in  distortions. 
Archeology  must  be  concerned  primarily  with  material  data,  with 
imperishable  remains.  From  this  concern  come  preoccupation  with 
this  kind  of  information  and  a  tendency  to  see  in  imperishable  remains 
and  the  institutions  directly  connected  with  them  a  fundamental,  causa- 
tive role  that  in  broader  perspective  one  might  wish  to  question. 

A  good  example  of  this  distortion  is  the  importance  sometimes  at- 
tached to  the  introduction  of  metallurgy  at  the  beginning  of  urban 

222     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

life.  A  revolutionary  role  is  frequently  claimed  for  the  very  small 
number  of  craftsmen  who  began  to  produce  metal  weapons,  cult  ob- 
jects, and  the  like.  I  do  not  question  that  they  were  a  new  feature  or 
that  their  role  was  important.  But  I  think  that  some  archeologists, 
such  as  V.  Gordon  Childe,  have  unduly  stressed  technology  as  an  in- 
dependent causative  agent,  at  the  expense  of  the  social  institutions 
in  which  it  was  imbedded  and  which  gave  it  influence  and  meaning. 

Another  important  kind  of  built-in  distortion  affects  the  student 
of  ancient  history  as  well  as  the  archeologist.  Whether  drawn  from 
texts  or  excavations,  our  information  comes  from  cities,  temples,  and 
palaces,  from  the  kinds  of  centralized  units  on  which  archeologists 
naturally  concentrate  to  fill  museums  and  make  use  of  the  descriptive 
detail  the  texts  contain.  But  these  centralized  institutions,  supported 
by  the  small  margin  of  surplus  obtained  from  the  countryside,  as  a  re- 
sult of  outside  pressures  were  almost  certainly  more  prone  to  fluctuate 
than  was  the  underlying  agricultural  economy.  Hence  this  preoccupa- 
tion with  dynasties,  wars,  and  institutionalized  religions — the  old  his- 
toriographic  foci — tends  to  establish  the  cyclical  aspects  of  history 
as  more  important  than  they  really  were.  Therefore,  it  may  lead  us 
to  overlook  accumulation  where,  in  fact,  it  really  did  occur.  I  do  not 
deny  all  cyclicity,  of  course,  for  nomadic  resurgences  into  formerly 
urban  areas  are  fairly  common.  But  I  insist  that  these  must  be  seen 
in  a  perspective  that  is  not  gained  only  from  centers  that  were  most 
subject  to  disruption. 

In  a  broader  sense  I  am  very  skeptical  about  the  contrast  of  a  rate 
of  accumulation  in  technology  and  science  with  another  rate  in  values 
or  political  institutions.  All  these  changes  occur  in  the  matrix  of  hu- 
man society,  and  I  don't  think  they  can  be  understood  outside  that 
matrix.  The  most  important  aspects  of  accumulation,  to  me  at  least, 
are  those  having  to  do  with  the  size,  complexity,  and  adaptive  effi- 
ciency in  some  general  way  of  the  social  unit;  and  all  the  differing 
aspects  of  accumulation  that  have  been  mentioned  are  linked  in  vari- 
ous ways  to  these  much  more  basic  features. 

Consider  technological  changes  again.  Going  back  to  the  period 
of  the  urban  revolution,  which  I  know  best,  one  sees  the  associated 
technological  improvements  as  being  primarily  of  an  organizational 
character:  increasing  state  capitalization,  emphasis  on  weapons,  ra- 
tionalization of  the  procurement  of  raw  materials,  increasing  size  of 
production  unit,  etc.  The  transformation  of  a  technology  is  most  use- 
fully understood,  not  as  a  series  of  inventions,  but  as"  the  organiza- 
tion of  new  inventions  and  old  techniques  within  a  social  framework. 

Similarly,  if  we  take  features  of  rehgion,  how  are  we  to  see  ac- 


cumulation  in  the  succession  of  gods  and  the  changing  emphases  on 
gods  in  the  ancient  Near  East?  Only  by  relating  these  to  the  expand- 
ing empires  that  are  appearing  at  the  same  time,  to  the  enlarged  so- 
cial unit,  and  to  the  greater  consciousness  of  a  wide  oikumene  ex- 
tending beyond  any  poHtical  boundaries. 

Having  dwelt  somewhat  too  long  on  the  background  of  the  issue, 
I  would  very  briefly  suggest  that,  in  fact,  accumulation  is  evident,  al- 
though I  would  not  now  put  this  in  the  terms  used  in  point  6  of  the 
agenda.  One  sees  accumulation  perhaps  most  strikingly  in  the  increas- 
ing complexity  of  a  stratified  society — in  the  emergence  of  an  increas- 
ing differentiation  in  wealth  and  power  as  one  moves  up  the  scale  from 
village  to  town  to  city-state  to  empire.  A  second  major  trend  of  the 
same  order  of  importance  is  urbanization,  which  is  linked  with  the 
appearance  of  militarism  and  with  the  formation  of  larger  and  larger 
territorial  units.  The  expansion  and  increasing  capitalization  of  agri- 
culture is  a  third  trend  that  I  think  is  beginning  to  be  traced.  The 
development  of  a  greater  degree  of  specialization  of  labor  might  be 
another  such  trend. 

Finally,  and  less  surely,  there  may  have  been  a  trend  toward  sec- 
ularization, which,  if  it  is  a  trend  at  all,  is  certainly  far  more  tenuous 
and  subjectively  distinguished.  Perhaps  it  proceeds  less  steadily  and, 
as  it  were,  in  disjunctive  jumps.  At  any  rate,  there  is  a  long  span  be- 
tween the  man-centered  universe  of  Thucydides  and  that  of  Machia- 
velli,  with  nothing  very  similar  to  either  of  them.  Or,  again,  there  is 
a  sharp  decline  in  this  same  sense  from  Elizabethan  England  into  the 
rather  dogmatic  Puritanism  that  followed.  But  from  a  sufficiently  long- 
range  point  of  view,  I  think  one  might  still  wish  to  distinguish  this 
as  a  trend  similar  to  the  others. 

Willey:  In  general,  I  would  agree  with  Adams,  but  I  should  rather 
put  it  this  way:  Technological  innovations  are  subject  to  selective 
pressures  similar  to  those  in  biological  evolution — subsistence  pres- 
sures related  to  the  natural  environment  and,  in  general,  to  coping 
with  nature.  In  such  selectivity  it  is  easy  to  see  a  fairly  obvious  adap- 
tive direction.  Selective  pressures  affecting  innovation  in  style,  on 
the  other  hand,  are  weighted  by  cultural  and  social  environment,  and, 
as  Adams  indicated,  an  adaptive  direction  is  not  easily  seen. 

Huxley:  I  entirely  agree  that  almost  everything  accumulates,  but 
I  don't  see  how  it  can  be  denied  that  some  things  accumulate  faster 
than  others.  Also,  in  a  propitious  environment — and  that  is  what 
Adams  stressed — new  inventions  may  have  a  decisive  effect  on  the 
social  structure  or  the  social  system.  It  is  a  feedback  system. 

Adams:  One  has  to  attach  a  causative  role  to  the  introduction  of 

224     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

certain  inventions,  for  instance;  but  frequently  these  inventions  are 
regarded  as  capricious  elements,  essentially  external  to  the  society, 
and  their  cultural  context  is  not  described  or  understood. 

Kluckhohn:  We  shall  now  move  on  to  points  7  and  8,  taken  to- 

7.  On  account  of  their  constant  interflow,  cultural  phe- 
nomena allow  cross-cutting  classification  into  equally  valid 
(1)  historical  units  of  cultures  ("civilizations")  or  (2)  ab- 
stracted "levels  of  integration"  (Steward).  The  civilizations 
correspond  imperfectly  to  biological  clades  or  taxa;  both 
represent  sequences  of  historic  continuity,  and  both  show 
potentialities  for  survival  value  and  further  advancement. 
Sociocultural  levels  or  stages  correspond  roughly  to  the  bio- 
logical "grades"  attained  by  innovating  anagenetic  im- 
provement and  maintained  by  stasigenetic  persistence. 

8.  Organic  evolution  is  always  continuous,  as  are  cultural 
evolution  and  human  history.  But  it  is  punctuated  by  rela- 
tively brief  periods  of  crucial  change,  in  which  previously 
non-dominant  forms  of  life  achieve  an  evolutionary  break- 
through to  a  new  level  or  grade  of  organization  and  ca- 
pacities. This  new  grade  then  undergoes  rapid  and  intensive 
adaptive  radiation  and  attains  dominance,  maintained  there- 
after with  lessened  change.  Examples  are  the  taking-over  of 
dominance  from  Triassic-Cretaceous  reptiles  by  warm- 
blooded mammals  and  birds  at  the  beginning  of  the  Ter- 
tiary and  also  the  breakthrough  of  cultural  evolution  with 
man  in  the  Pleistocene. 

Kroeber:  I  should  like  to  begin  with  a  point  that  my  neighbor  and 
partner  Huxley  took  over  from  Rensch  and  enlarged  and  with  which 
Simpson  coincided.  They  make  the  point  that  biological  evolution  has 
three  major  aspects  or  modes:  one  that  leads  to  divergence,  another 
to  persistence,  and  the  third  to  improvement.  My  point  is  that,  al- 
though the  mechanism  of  culture  is  quite  different,  these  three  modes 
can  also  be  distinguished  in  the  evolution  of  culture. 

For  correctness  of  the  record,  I  use  the  technical  terms  that  these 
three  modes  of  evolution  bear.  Cladogenesis,  leading  to  genetic  diver- 
gence and  the  enrichment  of  total  life  in  multiple  phyla  or  grand  di- 
visions, corresponds  in  culture  to  the  development  of  the  greater  civi- 
lizations, separate  in  space  or  tune  or  both,  but  each  with  a  continuous 
history — well,  I  really  don't  know  which  it  is  as  between  ontogeny  or 
phylogeny.  View  an  entire  civilization  as  an  end  result,  and  its  de- 
velopment is  an  ontogeny.  But,  insofar  as  each  major  civilization  has 
many  components  or  strands  and  has  gone  on  for  many  generations 
of  men,  its  growth  or  history  is  also  a  phylogeny. 


The  second  major  aspect  of  evolution  is  stasigenesis,  which  is  con- 
cerned primarily  with  persistences;  and  this  is  exemplified  by  the  minor 
and  belated  cultures  of  primitive  populations  and  partly  of  peasants. 

Third,  biological  anagenesis  or  improvement  works  by  break- 
throughs to  new  grades  or  dominant  levels  of  life;  these  correspond 
to  what  in  culture  have  been  recognized  and  called  by  White,  "stages," 
or  by  Steward,  "levels  of  integration,"  or  by  the  late  V.  Gordon  Childe 
and  by  Adams  here  just  now,  "revolutions" — as,  for  instance,  the 
urban  revolution,  the  food-producing  revolution  as  compared  with 
the  earlier  food-gathering  stage,  or  our  contemporary  culture  seen  as 
an  industrial  revolution. 

In  short,  all  three  modes  or  aspects  of  evolution  are  as  recognizable 
in  culture  as  in  biology,  and  all  three  must  ultimately  be  studied  in 
their  interrelations  if  we  are  to  have  a  picture  of  total  human  evolu- 

Huxley:  Cladogenesis,  of  course,  is  Anderson's  "tree,"  the  dendritic 
or  branching  pattern.  It  is  not  confined  to  the  major  units,  but  goes 
on  within  the  subgroups  also,  doesn't  it?  It  is  perfectly  true  that  in 
culture  you  can't  distinguish  ontogeny  from  phylogeny:  you  can't 
separate  them  as  you  can  in  a  higher  organism,  just  as  you  can't  sepa- 
rate germ  plasm  from  soma  in  a  culture.  The  two  are  one.  As  for 
stabilization  or  stasigenesis — the  tendency  leading  to  persistence — 
there  is  always  selection  for  stable  forms,  which,  if  successful,  tend 
to  persist.  We  shall  discuss  improvement  later,  when  we  talk  about 
long-term  trends. 

Finally,  I  would  say  that  cultural  evolution  includes  a  fourth  process 
or  mode  of  evolution,  which  is  diffusion.  Gene  diffusion  and  conver- 
gence have  played  some  part  in  evolution  above  the  species  in  plants 
but  have  been  of  very  little  importance  in  animals.  In  man,  both  gene 
diffusion  and  convergence  have  played  an  enormous  part.  They  have 
fused  all  the  human  races  into  one.  And  directly  that  happened,  there 
was  convergence  of  cultures,  too,  through  culture  contact  and  what 
Kroeber  calls  "idea  diffusion."  So  you  have  a  new  process  superposed 
on  the  other  three. 

Kluckhohn:  We  shall  now  move  on  to  points  9  and  10: 

9.  Within  human  cultural  evolution  several  corresponding 
major  critical  breakthroughs  (sometimes  called  "revolu- 
tions" in  prehistory  and  history)  have  been  discerned  in  the 
accumulating  empirical  evidence.  These  are  (1)  food 
production,  beginning  gradually  about  7000  B.C.;  (2)  a 
syndrome  centering  around  3000  B.C.  in  which  writing, 
metallurgy,  urbanization,  and  political  structures  were  first 
evolved;  (3)  from  about  600  B.C.,  religions  organized  both 

226     •     ISSVES  IN  EVOLUTION 

doctrinally  and  institutionally;  (4)  beginning  about  a.d. 
1600,  a  level  or  grade  of  civilization  characterized  by  the 
rapid  and  progressive  development  of  science,  technology, 
invention,  industry,  and  wealth. 

10.  In  the  light  of  present  evidence,  these  respective  ad- 
vances concerned  primarily  subsistence  in  stage  1,  general 
civilization  in  2,  religion  in  3,  and  secular  activities  in  4, 
with  definite,  perhaps  reactive,  change  of  emphasis  or  direc- 
tion in  each  surge  as  compared  with  the  preceding  one.  A 
world-wide  spread  (roughly  corresponding  to  "adaptive 
radiation")  in  the  fourth  stage  is  apparently  still  taking 
place.  When  it  shall  have  covered  our  planet,  a  degree  of 
temporary  stabilization  may  occur. 

You  will  note  under  point  9  a  series  of  four  so-called  "revolutions." 
First  is  food  production.  When  I  think  of  food  production,  I  think 
of  Anderson. 

Anderson:  As  a  demonstration  of  its  use  or  as  an  authority? 

Kluckhohn:  Both. 

Anderson:  Let  us  first  ask  What  did  not  happen?  Agriculture  did 
not  begin  in  Europe.  We  are  looking  at  the  problem  with  European 
eyes;  our  minds  are  using  European  words.  When  we  observe  and 
reflect  on  the  patterns  of  agriculture  we  find  in  Africa,  Latin  America, 
and  Asia,  we  see  that  the  earliest  agriculture  in  the  Near  East  is  very, 
very  late. 

Kluckhohn:  Willey,  are  you  on  time? 

Willey:  These  revolutions  outhned  in  the  agenda,  or  at  least  the 
first  two,  occurred  in  the  New  World  also,  but  the  dates  shown  apply 
only  to  the  Old  World.  In  timing  and  sequence  there  are  some  very 
interesting  contrasts,  as  well  as  sunilarities,  between  the  two  hemi- 

Food  production,  beginning  about  7000  B.C.  in  the  Old  World, 
means  a  threshold  of  village  agriculture  and  a  village  community  sus- 
tained by  plant  cultivation.  In  the  New  World,  some  plants  were  cul- 
tivated in  northern  Mexico  at  least  as  early  as  the  interval  between 
7000  B.C.  and  5000  b.c,  but  in  a  context  of  very  simple  seed-gather- 
ing cultures.  (If  there  are  earlier  evidences  of  plants  in  the  New  World, 
we  certainly  don't  have  them  archeologically.  Perhaps  Anderson  will 
refer  to  this  again. ) 

In  the  New  World,  it  took  from  around  7000  b.c  to  about  1500 
B.C.  to  reach  a  level  of  estabUshed  village  agriculture.  I  don't  know 
whether  such  a  long  period  of  incipient  cultivation  occurred  in  the 
Old  World  before  7000  b.c,  and  I  should  be  interested  to  hear  Adams' 


views.  I  should  think  that  glaciation  might  complicate  pushing  it  back 
beyond  7000  B.C. 

In  the  Old  World,  an  interval  of  about  four  thousand  years  sepa- 
rated the  threshold  of  village  agriculture  and  the  attainment  of  the 
city  syndrome,  with  writing,  metallurgy,  urbanism,  and  political  struc- 
tures. In  the  New  World,  this  city  syndrome — or  a  pretty  good  repHca 
— appeared  in  Middle  America  and  Peru  as  early  as  the  beginning 
of  the  Christian  Era.  Not  all  these  city  traits  are  always  found  in  the 
same  context.  Writing,  for  instance,  developed  in  the  lowlands  of 
Middle  America  as  early  as  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  Era,  but 
it  was  not  associated  with  metallurgy  and  probably  not  with  urbanism. 
In  the  Valley  of  Mexico,  urban  life  and  the  development  of  a  state 
organization  must  be  associated  with  the  Teotihuacan  civiHzation, 
dating  back  to  a.d.  1 ;  but  neither  writing  nor  metallurgy  was  present. 
In  coastal  Peru,  metallurgy  and  urbanism  are  found,  but  not  writing. 
Whether  these  various  city-type  traits  in  the  New  World  would  even- 
tually have  coalesced  into  a  single  culture  or  civilization,  we  don't 
know;  this  had  not  happened  at  the  time  of  the  Spanish  conquest  by 
A.D.  1500. 

There  is  only  a  fifteen-hundred-year  gap  between  village  agricul- 
ture and  cities  in  the  New  World,  and  a  four-thousand-year  gap  be- 
tween these  events  in  the  Old  World.  I  should  like  to  hear  Adams  say 
something  about  this. 

Adams:  We  have  been  burned  so  often  in  recent  years  by  changing 
radiocarbon  dates  that  I  am  no  longer  sure  what  chronologies  I  do 
believe.  There  certainly  seems  to  be  this  contrast,  but  I  have  no  ex- 
planation for  it.  Until  more  is  known  about  how  it  developed,  I  would 
rather  just  leave  it  as  one  of  those  unanswered  questions  that  plague 

Anderson:  I  should  like  to  interrupt,  if  I  may.  Many  of  you  know 
that  I  am  a  heretic  on  this  question.  I  did  not  say  that  agriculture  came 
from  Asia;  I  said  we  must  start  thinking  about  it. 

Adams:  The  available  archeological  evidence  bearing  on  the  ques- 
tion that  Anderson  is  asking  is  that  in  the  Near  East  before  7000  B.C. 
we  find  nothing  certainly  cultivated  except  wheat  and  barely.  We  are 
told  that  some  specimens  of  wheat  and  barley  from  Jarmo  are  very 
close  to  their  wild  state.  Perhaps  there  are  questions  as  to  what  the 
wild  state  was. 

Anderson:  I  agree  completely.  Those  facts  are  all  absolutely 
straight  insofar  as  they  have  been  reported. 

Kluckhohn:  You  are  both  happy  then. 

You  will  note  that  the  third  revolution  listed  in  point  9  deals  with 

228     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

what,  throughout  most  of  recorded  history,  most  people  thought  of 
when  they  thought  of  development  or  progress.  Now,  Kroeber,  skepti- 
cism has  always  been  the  chastity  of  your  intellect;  but  would  you 
mind  talking  about  religion? 

Kroeber:  I  reahze  that  item  3  has  about  four  spaces  less  than  one 
line  in  the  agenda:  perhaps  it  does  need  a  little  factual  elucidation. 

The  third  stage,  or  revolution,  there  mentioned  is  primarily  religious 
in  character  or,  perhaps  better,  religio-philosophical.  It  occurred  in 
the  Old  World,  nearly  all  of  it  in  Asia,  within  the  six  or  so  centuries 
before  Christ  and  the  six  or  so  after. 

This  1 200-year  phase  includes  both  Confucianism  and  Taoism  and 
the  whole  classic  Chinese  philosophy.  In  India  it  comprises  Buddhism, 
the  rival  Jain  religion,  the  Sankhya  philosophy,  perhaps  the  Vedanta 
culmination  under  Sankara  about  800  a.d.;  in  Persia,  Zoroaster  and 
the  Avesta;  in  Palestine,  the  non-legendary  historic  prophets  of  Juda- 
ism. It  would  comprise  Greek  philosophy,  culminating  in  Plato,  Aris- 
totle, and  the  Stoic  school.  It  would  include  Jesus,  Paul,  and  Christian- 
ity as  far  as  Augustine.  It  would  also  include  the  minor  rehgions  of 
the  Near  East:  Mithraism,  Manichaeism,  Gnosticism,  and  most  of 
Talmudism,  and,  finally,  Mohammed  and  Islam. 

These  rehgions  are  characterized  by  several  features: 

First,  systematization — a  formulated  doctrine  or  dogma. 

Second,  exclusiveness,  incompatibility  with  other  faiths,  along  with 
tendencies  toward  intolerance  and  propaganda. 

Third,  institutionalization — becoming  social  organized  bodies  as 
well  as  faiths. 

Finally,  most  are  monotheistic,  a  few  dualistic  or  atheistic. 

These  common  features,  plus  the  circumscribed  area  and  the  limited 
span  of  origin,  carry  some  suggestion  that  all  or  most  of  these  religious 
developments  may  form  part  of  one  breakthrough  to  a  new  grade  of 
cultural  evolution. 

Adams:  One  can  identify  a  syndrome  of  related  social,  cultural, 
technological,  and  economic  changes  around  the  food-producing  rev- 
olution, around  the  industrial  revolution,  and  around  the  urban  revolu- 
tion. In  time  we  may  very  well  find  that  Kroeber's  third  level,  char- 
acterized by  new  features  of  rehgion,  is  also  part  of  a  syndrome  of 
change.  In  the  Near  East  I  think  we  are  beginning  to  identify  a  very 
substantial  change  in  the  subsistence  base  that  comes  in  just  at  this 
time — a  much  more  massive  artificial  approach  to  canal  irrigation 
and  so  on.  I  am  merely  suggesting  that  we  recognize  that,  while  in 
the  light  of  present  knowledge  this  third  level  is  identified  as  a  pri- 
marily religious  change,  it  may  very  well  be  a  much  broader  syndrome. 

Kluckhohn:  White,  you  have  always  been  interested  in  the  sci- 


entific  energy  and  similar  aspects  of  evolution.  I  wonder  if  you  would 
talk  a  bit  about  the  fourth  revolution. 

White:  The  concept  of  revolution  as  it  is  applied  to  culture  change 
is  useful,  but  I  think  it  should  not  be  tossed  around  loosely  or  in- 
discriminately. We  should  distinguish  major  revolutions  from  the 
minor  revolutions  that  are  merely  aspects  of  a  larger  revolutionary 
change  in  culture.  As  yet  we  lack  an  adequate  taxonomy  of  revolu- 
tions in  the  course  of  culture  history.  I  like  to  regard  revolution  in 
culture  from  the  standpoint  of  the  thermodynamic  nature  of  socio- 
cultural  systems.  A  sociocultural  system  is  a  thermodynamic  system 
whose  main  function  is  to  harness  energy  and  put  it  to  work  in  the 
service  of  the  human  beings  embraced  by  that  sociocultural  system. 

From  this  point  of  view  there  have  been  only  two  major  cultural 
revolutions  in  human  history,  and  the  second  one  has  not  yet  run 
its  course.  The  first  of  these  two  great  revolutions  that  profoundly 
changed  culture  from  top  to  bottom  has  often  been  called  the  "agri- 
cultural revolution."  It  consisted  of  harnessing  solar  energy  in  the 
form  of  domesticated  animals  and  cultivated  plants.  The  second  great 
cultural  revolution  in  human  history  was  what  I  would  call  the  "fuel 
revolution,"  or  perhaps  the  "power  revolution,"  which  began  in  the 
eighteenth  century  with  the  harnessing  of  solar  energy  in  the  form 
of  coal  and  petroleum;  and,  of  course,  more  recently  new  sources 
of  energy  have  been  harnessed  and  are  being  put  to  work  for  peace- 
ful purposes  as  well  as  for  military  use. 

Compared  with  these  two  great,  profound,  and  comprehensive  cul- 
tural revolutions,  all  others  pale  into  insignificance.  I  think  that 
V.  Gordon  Childe  includes  too  many  revolutions  in  his  account  of 
human  history.  His  urban  revolution,  for  example,  seems  to  me  merely 
the  culmination  of  the  agricultural  revolution. 

These  great  revolutions  begin  as  technological  revolutions  and  are 
followed  by  social,  and  then  by  ideological,  revolutions.  The  second 
great  cultural  revolution  of  modern  times  began,  of  course,  as  a  tech- 
nological revolution  that  has  not  yet  run  its  course;  and  we  are  at  the 
present  time  in  the  midst  of  a  profound  world-wide  political,  social, 
and  economic  revolution. 

Anderson:  May  I  interrupt  again?  I  like  White's  point  very  much. 
I  wish  you  archeologists — it's  your  field — would  remember  it  when 
you  start  thinking  about  the  domestication  of  plants;  to  read  your 
papers,  one  would  think  that  man  had  never  been  anything  but  hungry. 
Wasn't  he  ever  scared?  Wasn't  he  ever  awed?  Didn't  he  think  a  flower 
was  beautiful? 

Kluckhohn:  Kroeber,  did  you  ever  think  a  flower  was  beautiful? 

Kroeber:  I  wasn't  asked  that.  Speaking  to  Adams'  point,  I  am  sure 

230     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

there  were  such  additional  innovations.  For  instance,  among  the  non- 
religious  features  of  this  religious  syndrome  were  the  invention  of 
coined  money  and  the  first  fully  developed  democracies. 

[Steward:  I  should  like  to  raise  this  question:  Do  these  four  major 
breakthroughs,  each  of  which  is  delineated  as  distinctive  in  character, 
imply  successive  changes  in  the  very  principles  of  cultural  evolution? 
My  question  betrays  my  interest  in  cultural  causality.  While  Kroeber 
has  often  gently  reminded  me  that  one  does  not  have  to  be  interested 
in  causes — a  contention  I  cannot  dispute — it  is  difficult  to  see  how 
causes,  processes,  or  principles  can  be  ignored  in  a  discussion  of  cul- 
tural evolution.] 

[In  order  to  probe  the  possibility  that  there  is  a  continuity  of  evolu- 
tionary principles  throughout  culture  history — principles  as  invariant 
as  natural  selection  and  heredity  in  biological  evolution — I  suggest 
that  we  tentatively  combine  Adams'  idea  of  a  syndrome  of  factors  with 
White's  concept  of  culmination  to  explain  all  four  breakthroughs.  The 
food  revolution  permitted  internal  social-role  specialization  and  led 
to  new  inventions,  while  population  growth  and  centralization  of  ad- 
ministration and  other  functions  eventually  culminated  in  urbanization 
and  state  formation.  The  spread  of  the  key  features  of  this  syndrome 
by  about  1000  B.C.  to  areas  beyond  the  rather  absolutistic  states  of  the 
great  river  valleys  may  well  have  become  preconditions  of  new  social 
arrangements  that  underlay  the  emergence  of  a  series  of  new  rehgions 
beginning  about  600  B.C.  The  fourth  breakthrough,  as  White  has  fre- 
quently stressed,  is  partly  a  repetition  of  the  first,  in  that  new  sources  of 
power  and  use  of  machines  went  hand-in-hand  with  intellectual  de- 
velopment and  new  technologies  and  initiated  further  social  trans- 

Huxley:  It  is  extremely  important  to  recognize  another  similarity 
between  biological  and  cultural  evolution.  In  both,  one  finds  break- 
throughs from  one  stabilized  grade  of  organization  to  another,  al-  l 
though  they  are  rare  and  appear  difficult  to  make;  and  if  the  new  type 
of  organization  is  successful,  it  will  increase  and  spread,  will  become 
stabilized  in  its  turn,  and  will  persist  for  a  long  time. 

I  know  that  I  am  an  outsider  in  anthropology;  but  I  have  tried  to 
look  at  the  history  of  man  with  the  eye  of  an  evolutionary  biologist. 
And  it  seems  to  me  that  each  psychosocial  grade  always  involves  two  i 
distinct  aspects:  the  material  and  institutional  aspect  and  the  psycho- 
logical or  symbolizing  or  ideological  aspect,  with  ritual  and  religion, 
myth  and  science.  Although  material  technological  progress  is  ob- 
viously the  basis  for  material  advance,  as  Childe  and  others  have 
stressed,  yet  to  leave  out  the  other  aspect  is  not  scientific,  because  there 
is  always  an  interplay  or  feedback  between  them.  The  preagricultural 


Stage  had  its  own  rituals  and  magic.  With  the  agricultural  stage  came 
a  totally  new  type  of  magic  ritual  concerned  with  death  and  resurrec- 
tion, based  on  the  seed  and  its  rebirth.  The  urban  grade  was  based  on 
primitive  technology  and  organized  irrigation,  but  it  also  soon  led 
to  the  organization  of  religious  ideas  and  to  the  beginning  of  science 
and  mathematics.  Later  you  have  the  scientific  grade,  with  its  industrial 
basis  and  its  urge  to  explore,  but  still  based  on  the  idea  of  creation  and 
on  an  essentially  static  theology.  And  today  I  would  say  that,  thanks 
to  Darwin,  we  are  just  on  the  threshold  of  the  evolutionary  grade. 
This  is  naturalistic.  It  has  rejected  the  supernatural  idea  of  creation 
for  that  of  material  progress;  and  it  is  trying  to  think  in  psychological, 
as  well  as  in  economic  and  technological,  terms.  I  think  my  anthro- 
pological friends  will  agree  with  me  that  in  each  grade  the  material 
and  psychological  components  interact  and  that  both  are  essential. 

Kluckhohn:  What  do  you  mean,  your  anthropological  friends? 
You  are  a  visiting  professor  of  anthropology  here  at  the  University  of 
Chicago,  and  you  have  spoken  exactly  like  one.  Now  would  you  be 
so  kind  as  to  take  us  into  the  eleventh  and  twelfth  points? 

1 1 .  While  adaptation  on  the  part  of  the  organism  has  been 
strongly  stressed  as  a  primary  factor  and  result  in  the  evolu- 
tion of  animals  and  plants,  both  by  Darwin  and  by  modern 
evolutionists,  it  has  been  a  much  smaller  consideration  in  the 
exosomatic  physical  and  organic  environment  through 
selection.  The  function  of  culture  is  not  only  to  adapt  man 
to  his  environment,  but  also  to  adapt  man's  environment 
to  himself  by  suitably  modifying  it. 

12.  The  basic  and  primal  inventions  of  culture — fire, 
clothing,  shelter  and  constructions,  tools  and  weapons,  food 
preparation,  cooking  and  cooking  utensils,  storage  of  sur- 
plus food  and  later  food  production  by  farming  and  herd- 
ing— all  these  modify,  change,  or  abolish  difficulties  existing 
in  the  natural  environment  by  (partly)  substituting  an  arti- 
ficial (man-made)  environment  of  artifacts.  This  indis- 
pensable material  basis  of  human  culture  is  subsumed  under 
the  term  "technology"  and  remains  the  chief  means  of  sub- 
jugating environment  as  well  as  adapting  to  it. 

Huxley:  Animals,  of  course,  grow  their  own  tools.  The  wing  of  a 
bird  or  the  tongue  of  a  woodpecker  is  an  incredible  implement  for  its 
special  function.  Among  animals,  one  also  finds  many  so-called  exo- 
somatic organs:  spiders'  webs,  birds'  nests,  etc.  But  these  are  all  ge- 
netically determined.  Yesterday's  panel  cited  a  few  cases  of  the  actual 
use  by  animals  of  tools  in  the  strict  sense — although  never  the  fashion- 
ing of  them.  But  here  again,  the  use  of  such  tools  as  the  twig  employed 

232     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

by  Darwin's  finch  to  act  like  the  tongue  of  a  woodpecker  seems  ge- 
netically determined.  The  big  changeover  in  man  was  that  he  started 
making  tools  for  a  purpose  and  then  purposefully  improving  them. 

Adams:  I  think  Anderson's  earlier  complaint  about  the  unfortunate 
way  we  have  focused  ourselves  fairly  exclusively  on  adaptation,  in  the 
narrow  sense  of  meeting  immediate  subsistence  needs,  applies  better 
here  than  it  did  earUer;  it  applies  at  many  points  throughout. 

Within  human  societies  the  notion  of  survival  of  the  fittest  is  largely 
shaped  by  cultural  factors,  as  has  been  said.  Man  does  not  face  his 
environment  alone,  as  the  wording  of  point  12  seems  to  imply,  but  as 
a  functionally  specialized  member  of  a  group — and,  as  time  goes  on, 
of  an  increasingly  complex  group  that  is  exploiting  an  increasing  num- 
ber of  ecological  niches  under  increasingly  artificial  conditions,  created 
by  societies  themselves.  Here  one  needs  only  to  mention  such  processes 
as  deforestation,  the  creation  of  grasslands  as  a  result  of  certain  kinds 
of  agricultural  and  other  uses,  and  the  appearance  of  salinity  in  large 
agricultural  areas. 

It  seems  to  me  more  important  to  stress  this  social  aspect  of  sur- 
vival than  the  technological  aspect.  In  fact,  rather  than  say  that  "tech- 
nology is  the  chief  means  of  subjugating  environment  and  adapting 
to  it,"  we  should  say  that  it  is  the  chief  immediate  means  and  recog- 
nize that  technology  is  brought  into  play  by  social  organization. 

Kluckhohn:  One  member  of  our  panel  very  understandably  feels 
that  we  have  gone  on  for  quite  a  while  in  our  agenda  and  in  our  dis- 
cussion without  saying  much,  if  anything,  about  ideas.  We  have  said 
something  about  ideas,  but  we  have  not  stressed  them.  We  tave  talked 
about  things  and  food  and  so  on,  and  even  the  botanist  was  rebuking 
us  for  not  buying  hyacinths.  So  I  am  going  to  ask  Polak  to  redress 
the  balance  a  bit. 

Polak:  I  think  that  the  very  important  role  of  technology  as  a 
means  of  transformation  has  been  somewhat  overemphasized.  Of 
course,  we  are  greatly  impressed  by  the  agricultural  and  industrial  i 
revolutions,  but  we  should  not  underestimate  the  creative  rnipact  and  i 
molding  force  of  the  human  mind  and  man's  non-technological  crea- 
tions. Those  creations  include  religious,  ethical,  philosophical,  and 
humanist  ideas  as  well  as  art.  They  have  been  expressed  in  value  sys- 
tems and  ideologies.  Some  of  these  have  had  a  profound  influence  and 
played  an  important  role  in  adaptation  to,  and  of,  the  environment. 

Though  our  age  values  technological  invention  and  material  goods 
and  rejoices  for  every  point  at  which  the  standard  of  living  is  raised, 
this  has  not  always  been  so.  For  example,  in  older  China  and  in  the 
Hellenistic  cultures,  the  spirit  of  the  times  was  against  technological 
innovation.  About  two  thousand  years  ago  the  technologists  of  Alexan- 


dria  in  most  fields  knew  as  much  as,  or  even  more  than,  their  counter- 
parts of  sixteenth-  or  seventeenth-century  Europe — a  time  lag  result- 
ing mainly  from  a  different  hierarchy  of  values,  a  different  mental  out- 
look toward  the  goals  to  be  reached  by  man. 

In  exactly  the  same  way,  ideaHsm  was  an  active  driving  force  in 
America's  rise  to  world  power  and  cultural  expansion.  One  of  these 
motive  forces  was,  I  think,  the  exciting  idea,  later  to  be  called  the 
"American  Dream,"  of  founding  a  new  world  of  peace,  brotherhood, 
and  happiness,  a  Utopian  quest  for  group  society  and  the  full  life  and 
human  dignity.  I  like  to  think  that  such  philosophy  as  is  included  in 
your  Declaration  of  Independence  and  in  your  Constitution  has  had 
and  I  hope  still  has  great  potential  and  constructive  power  to  shape 
the  evolution  of  your  culture  and  to  change  the  world. 

[Steward:  Much  of  this  discussion  has  turned  upon  the  role  of  ideas 
and  ideals  in  cultural  evolution.  I  should  like  to  know  how  and  why 
specific  ideas  and  ideals  evolved  in  relation  to  technological  improve- 
ment, population  increase,  class  and  state  development,  and  social 

Kluckhohn:  I  think  we  should  move  now  to  point  13 : 

13.  The  result  of  points  11  and  12  is  that  most  anthro- 
pologists and  students  of  culture  have  been  less  concerned 
with  adaptation  and  its  relentless  flow  than  have  biologists. 
They  deal  with  change,  advance,  accumulation,  and  inter- 
personal and  intersocietal  processes,  which  they  have  often 
assumed  to  be  non-adaptive.  Their  concerns  are  usually 
microdynamic.  Even  the  term  "evolution"  tends  to  be 
avoided,  partly  through  persisting  reaction  against  the 
speculative  pseudo-evolutionistic  excesses  of  anthropolo- 
gists in  the  immediate  post-1859  period.  As  to  the  macro- 
dynamics  of  cultural  evolution,  its  causes  and  principles, 
and  its  interrelations  with  biological  evolution,  there  is  as 
yet  no  general  agreement.  For  the  near  future  this  sub- 
ject needs  careful  research.  This  is  necessary  as  a  basis  for 
any  attempt  to  predict  or  control  the  direction  of  cultural 

That  seems  to  me  your  baby,  White.  For  years  you  have  poured 
acid  on  some  members  of  our  trade  union  because  they  practiced  cere- 
monial avoidance  on  this  great  concept  of  evolution. 

White:  This  subject  is  one  that  interests  me  very  much,  and  I  wish 
to  say  something  that  I  think  needs  to  be  said,  even  though  it  may  not 
be  very  pleasant  or  complimentary  to  certain  people. 

I  see  here  the  phrase,  "Even  the  term  evolution  tends  to  be  avoided." 
That  is  a  pretty  mild  statement  for  what  has  taken  place  in  the  United 

234     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

States  in  the  last  thirty  or  forty  years.  When  I  was  a  graduate  student, 
the  chmate  of  anthropological  opinion  was  definitely  and  vigorously 
antievolutionist.  One  of  our  distinguished  American  anthropologists 
said:  "The  theory  of  cultural  evolution  is,  to  my  mind,  the  most  inane, 
pernicious,  and  sterile  theory  in  the  whole  realm  of  science."  About 
thirty  years  ago  I  took  up  the  cudgels  in  defense  of  cultural  evolution- 
ism and  tried  to  rehabilitate  the  theory.  I  was  virtually  alone.  Many 
very  uncomplimentary  things  were  said  about  me  for  quite  a  long 
time.  Finally,  these  were  modified  somewhat,  and  I  was  called  a  "neo- 
evolutionist,"  a  term  which  I  and  Father  Wilhelm  Schmidt  strongly 
and  vigorously  repudiate. 

Nowadays,  thanks  rather  largely  to  the  Darwin  Centennial  Cele- 
bration, the  theory  of  cultural  evolution  is  becoming  respectable  and 
therefore  popular.  And  I  find  that  most  of  my  fellow  anthropologists 
are  evolutionists.  They  are  coming  from  here  and  there,  saying  "Why, 
I  have  been  an  evolutionist  all  along."  I  also  find  that  some  things 
that  have  been  called  "history"  all  along  are  now  appearing  in  the 
clothing  and  phraseology  of  cultural  evolutionism.  It  is  really  ironical 
to  recall  that  some  thirty  years  ago  one  of  the  arguments  used  against 
the  theory  of  cultural  evolution  was  derived  from  Darwinism.  It  was 
argued  that  the  theory  of  evolution  was  valid  and  useful  in  biology 
and  that  it  was  therefore  transferred  to  the  realm  of  culture,  where 
it  was  invalid.  Now,  a  generation  or  so  later,  a  full  turn  of  the  wheel, 
Darwinism  is  putting  cultural  evolution  on  its  feet  again. 

Well,  of  course  I  am  very  glad  to  see  this.  I  only  hope  that  I  won't 
be  excommunicated  when  the  theory  of  cultural  evolution  becomes  a 
full-fledged  movement  in  anthropology,  as  it  seems  likely  to  become. 
However,  I  am  not  overly  encouraged  by  the  swelling  of  the  ranks  of 
cultural  evolutionists  at  this  time,  because  it  takes  more  than  popu- 
larity to  make  a  scientific  concept  sound.  And  I  don't  think  cuUural 
evolutionists  are  going  to  be  made  overnight  by  the  popularity  of  tele- 
vision and  other  public  ceremonies  and  exhibitions.  I  think  it  will  take 
a  great  deal  more  than  that. 

I  wanted  to  get  that  off  my  chest. 

Kluckhohn:  You  certainly  did. 

Polak:  I  should  like  to  draw  attention  to  the  triumph  and  tragedy 
of  cultural  macrodynamics.  At  one  time,  mostly  in  Europe,  this  field 
was  highly  fashionable,  but  now  its  accompfishments  are  not  consid- 
ered to  have  been  very  successful.  Social  and  behavioral  scientists  have 
become  wary  of  all-embracing  systems.  At  present,  scientific  interest 
in  the  time-dimension  process  as  seen  in  the  rise  and  fall  of  civiliza- 
tions seems  almost  extinct  or  deeply  hidden. 


Kluckhohn:  Excuse  me;  just  one  minute.  What  is  cultural  macro- 
dynamics?  Is  it  the  rise  and  fall  of  civilizations,  or  just  what  is  it? 

Polak:  Yes,  the  long-term  process  of  the  recurrence  and  the  rise 
and  fall  of  civilizations. 

Kluckhohn:  Okay. 

Polak:  Perhaps  we  became  discouraged  and  disillusioned  too  soon. 
Here  is  one  of  the  most  important  unfinished  tasks  of  social  and  cul- 
tural science.  Let  me  give  you  one  concrete  example:  A  correlation 
may  be  drawn  between  man's  imaginative  concept  of  an  ideal  future 
and  his  evolutionary  course  into  the  real  future.  More  specifically, 
such  positive,  constructive  images  of  the  future  as  the  American 
Dream  can  be  correlated  with  a  rising  civilization,  and  loss  of  faith  in 
coming  destiny,  expressed  in  negative  images  of  the  future,  with  a 
corresponding  decay  or  disintegration  of  a  civilization.  In  that  case, 
just  as  in  biological  evolution,  the  essence  of  cultural  evolution  would 
be  found  in  its  potentialities  for  preadaptive  improvement:  potentiali- 
ties that  may  lead  to  cultural  breakthroughs  and  future  progress  may 
be  demonstrable  and  in  part  measurable. 

This  point  of  view  has  far-reaching  implications.  Further  analysis 
along  these  lines  might  make  the  direction  of  future  evolution  at  least 
partly  predictable,  and  it  would  also  make  it  more  controllable — which 
means  to  adapt  the  future  as  far  as  possible  to  our  ideal  ends.  It  better 
explains  the  significance  of  the  so-called  revolution  of  expectations — 
a  radical  change  in  the  image  of  the  future. 

Kluckhohn:  In  point  14  the  key  word  is  "culture  history." 

The  nearest  counterpart  in  anthropology  and  the  social 
sciences  to  genetic  evolutionary  science  appears  to  be  car- 
ried on  mainly  under  the  name  of  "culture  history"  (in- 
cluding prehistory)  and  is  naturalistic,  empirical,  holistic, 
seeking  continuities  and  connections  rather  than  phe- 
nomenal identities  or  "regularities"  and  yet  ready  to  accept 
such  "regularities"  and  punctuating  cultural  "revolutions" 
insofar  as  these  are  demonstrable.  Such  knowledge  is  im- 
portant for  gaining  a  timely  and  adequate  insight  into  the 
processes  forming  the  future. 

Kroeber:  I  have  always  felt  that  I  was  doing  culture  history.  Now 
it  turns  out  that  all  this  time  Leslie  White  and  I  have  been  sleeping 
in  the  same  bed  for  thirty  years  without  knowing  it.  (No,  I  am  not 
the  author  of  the  quotation  about  cultural  evolution  that  he  cited. ) 

I  believe  that  culture  history — I  am  now  emphasizing  what  it  says 
in  the  agenda — including  prehistory,  of  course,  must  be  wholly  nat- 
uralistic and  empirical  in  method.  It  should  be  holistic  in  its  ultimate 

236     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

aim.  It  should  assume  continuity  as  a  principle  and  seek  connections 
as  far  as  they  are  demonstrable. 

There  is  another  point,  however,  which  is  not  in  the  agenda,  and  I 
think  it  has  a  certain  importance.  This  is  that  culture,  even  in  its  sim- 
ple, merely  descriptive  presentation,  is  already  a  series  of  regularities. 
We  are  Hkely  to  forget  that  fact.  Culture  is  a  series  of  regularities 
underlying  the  multitudinous  and  varying  events  of  human  behavior 
in  what  is  ordinarily  called  "history." 

Historiographers  as  such  do  not  deal  with  culture:  they  take  it  for 
granted.  They  do  not  bother  to  tell  what  the  culture  is  whose  events 
they  are  presenting,  and  so  they  do  not  describe  regularities.  They 
concentrate  on  events.  Such  is  the  customary  field  of  the  professional 
historiographer.  But  a  patterned  culture  is  always  impHcit  in  it. 

What  the  anthropologist  tries  to  do  is  to  make  explicit,  to  spread  out 
in  open  view  on  the  table,  the  cultural  patterning  that  underlies  the 
stirring  events  that  the  historiographer  narrates. 

Willey:  It  strikes  me  that  the  method  of  cultural  evolution  is  one 
of  examining  process  and,  from  cross-cultural  comparisons,  distilling 
configurations  through  time.  This  I  would  consider  cultural  evolution 
as  opposed  to  culture  history.  Does  White  agree? 

White:  Thorstein  Veblen  has  frequently  been  quoted  as  saying 
that  there  are  no  synonyms  in  the  English  language,  and  I  subscribe 
to  this  opinion.  I  do  not  think  that  "history"  and  "evolution"  are 
synonyms.  I  believe  that  they  represent  and  express  fundamentally 
different  concepts.  In  trying  to  analyze  and  interpret  the  phenomena  of 
the  external  world,  we  can  distinguish  a  temporal  particularizing 
process,  on  the  one  hand,  and  a  temporal  generalizing  process,  on  the 
other.  I  should  like  to  call  the  temporal  particularizing  process,  in 
which  events  are  considered  significant  in  terms  of  their  uniqueness 
and  particularity,  "history"  and  call  the  temporal  generalizing  process, 
which  deals  with  phenomena  as  classes  rather  than  as  particular  events, 
"evolution."  History  and  evolution  are  alike  in  being  temporal,  dealing 
with  temporal  processes.  They  are  fundamentally  different,  in  that  the 
one  is  particularizing,  the  other  generalizing. 

Kroeber:  I  have  only  just  discovered  that  White  and  I  have  been 
sleeping  in  the  same  bed  for  thirty  years,  and  now  he  says  that  they 
were  two  beds. 

Willey:  Let  me  ask  this:  Is  the  statement  that,  in  the  Middle  Ameri- 
can area  of  the  New  World,  a  period  of  food  production  by  plant 
cultivation  succeeded  a  period  of  food  gathering  a  statement  of  cul- 
ture history  or  cultural  evolution? 

White:  It  can  be  placed  in  either  context,  depending  on  whether 
you  wish  to  particularize  or  generalize. 


Huxley:  You  shift  from  one  bed  to  the  other. 
Kluckhohn:  Watch  these  metaphors,  gemlemen. 
Willey:  One  more  question.  Does  the  size  of  a  geographical  area 
have  anything  to  do  with  this? 
White:  No. 

Willey:  I  think  some  of  our  colleagues  feel  that  it  has. 
White:  I  wouldn't  doubt  that. 

Kluckhohn:  Well,  shall  we  move  on  to  point  15? 

The  very  historization  of  understanding  in  science  which 
our  present  fourth  critical  stage  of  innovation  has  brought 
with  it  involves  greater  awareness  of  evolution  and  of  the 
future  as  well  as  the  past.  This  awareness  will  no  doubt 
produce  efforts  to  direct  the  course  of  evolution.  No  pre- 
cedent exists  for  predicting  what  success  such  efforts  may 

Whether  the  next  grade  be  attained  automatically  or 
partly  by  willed  planning,  the  orientation  and  kind  of  its 
innovations  constitute  a  most  significant  problem.  The  ad- 
vances of  modern  science  and  technology  in  gaining  deeper 
understanding  of  physical,  biological,  and  cultural  phe- 
nomena and  in  devising  means  of  controlling  them  place 
in  man's  hands  tools  of  unprecedented  power.  The  use  of 
these  with  insufficient  foresight  could  have  undesirable  and 
even  disastrous  biological  and  cultural  consequences.  Con- 
versely, their  use  with  foresight  would  offer  possibilities  of 
human  evolution  both  cultural  and  biological  far  exceeding 
those  of  the  past.  What  happens  in  these  fields  will  depend 
increasingly  upon  the  nature  of  the  goals  set  and  the  means 
employed,  provided  that  men  succeed  in  extending  wisdom 
and  conscience  into  this  sphere.  Here  is  an  enormous  new 
field  for  a  rethinking  of  the  problems  of  human  life  and  of 
life  in  general  from  the  bottom  up,  taking  into  consideration 
everything  that  the  past  has  taught  us. 

Muller:  The  reasons  were  given  earlier  for  concluding  that  the 
scientific  and  social  advances  of  our  present  culture  are  tending  to 
produce  a  negative  feedback  upon  our  genetic  structure,  allowing — 
and,  in  some  respects,  even  encouraging — its  deterioration:  a  kind 
of  natural  selection  in  reverse.  Luckily,  however,  our  present  culture 
has  also  made  us  aware  of  this  situation  and  has  brought  us  knowledge 
of  evolution  as  a  whole,  as  some  of  us  have  found  at  this  series  of 

As  with  the  dangerous  techniques  placed  in  our  hands  by  physics, 
chemistry,  mass  media  for  thought  control,  and  the  means  of  deple- 

238     '    ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

tion  of  our  resource,  we  see  that  if  we  would  retain  the  benefits  of 
civihzation,  there  can  be  no  effective  renunciation  of  our  powers.  In- 
stead, we  must  meet  all  these  difficulties  by  mustering  greater  fore- 
sight and  greater  social  responsibility  in  the  use  of  our  knowledge  and 
skills  and  in  the  further  extension  of  our  knowledge  and  self-control. 

In  genetics  this  means  that,  with  a  knowledge  of  biological  evolu- 
tion and  actuated  by  a  greater  sense  of  responsibility  to  their  succes- 
sors, men  will  come  to  extend  their  social  awareness  to  include  not 
only  their  contemporaries  but  also  the  next  and  succeeding  genera- 
tions. In  learning,  as  they  must,  to  control  their  numbers,  men  will  also 
become  aware  of  the  paramount  importance  of  the  genetic  material 
within  them.  A  new  kind  of  pride  in  reproduction  will  appear  when 
those  persons  burdened  with  more  than  the  average  share  of  genetic] 
defects  realize  that  their  most  valuable  services  will  lie  in  restricting 
the  multiplication  of  their  own  genes  and  contributing  to  the  com-? 
munity  in  ways  that  are  not  directly  genetic.  Conversely,  those  per-1 
sons  more  fortunately  endowed  will  feel  it  their  obligation  to  repro- 
duce to  more  than  the  average  extent.  No  one  knows  better  than  the 
geneticist  how  uncertain  is  the  knowledge  of  any  given  individual's 
genetic  constitution,  how  the  effects  of  environment  are  interwoven 
with  heredity  in  molding  every  individual,  and  how  randomness  enters 
into  the  determination  of  what  genes  any  new  individual  shall  have. 
And  no  one  knows  better  than  the  social  scientist  how  vicious  and  self- 
defeating  would  be  any  attempt  at  dictation  in  matters  of  reproduction. 

What  counts  in  evolution,  however,  is  not  the  individual  but  the 
general  trend;  for  over-all  selection  in  a  given  direction  eventually 
works,  and  consciously  directed  selection  works  much  faster  than 
unconscious  selection.  The  important  thing,  then,  is  the  kind  of  trend. 
Here  the  madness  of  the  racists  has  taught  the  world  by  terrible  ob- 
ject lessons  the  dangers  of  egotism,  ethnocentrism,  and  particularism. 
One  of  the  main  antidotes  to  this  is  a  better,  more  vivid  teaching  of 
evolution,  which  emphasizes  the  fundamental  unity  of  man  and  the 
overriding  importance  of  the  species  as  a  whole  and  underscores  the 
paramount  values  cherished  by  men  the  world  over — especially,  genu- 
ine warmth  of  fellow  feeling  and  a  co-operative  nature,  depth  and 
breadth  of  intellectual  capacity,  moral  courage  and  integrity,  appre- 
ciation of  nature  and  art,  and  aptness  of  expression  and  communica- 
tion. The  exercise  of  these  faculties  has  brought  man  to  his  present 

But  most  persons,  if  they  are  honest,  will  grant  that  these  qualities 
have  never  been  in  oversupply  and  that,  as  our  culture  advances,  we 
can  make  increasingly  good  use  of  a  higher  quality  and  quantity  of 
them.  At  the  same  time,  the  furtherance  of  specialized  abilities  de- 


veloped  in  response  to  particular  predilections,  as  for  music,  will  help 
enrich  the  whole.  Unless  men  sink  into  the  hands  of  mad  or  ignorant 
dictators,  there  is,  I  think,  no  danger  that  in  the  over-all  run  they  will 
fail  to  recognize  these  fundamental  values.  After  all,  the  same  prob- 
lem of  what  we  should  aim  for  appears  when  we  educate  our  children. 
Just  as  most  of  us  are  coming  to  recognize  these  same  aims  in  educa- 
tion, so  we  will  naturally  follow  them  also  in  genetics. 

Nor  is  there  a  danger  that  these  faculties  can  be  too  abundant.  As 
men  learn  better  techniques  and  acquire  better  facilities  for  nurturing, 
preserving,  multiplying,  and  transferring  their  genetic  material,  both 
male  and  female,  they  will  not  rest  content  with  the  primitive  methods 
of  the  past  but  will  increasingly  use  their  new  reproductive  powers  to 
further  their  ideals,  even  as  they  will  use  atomic  energy  to  reach  the 
stars.  They  will  take  pride  in  having  their  children — whom  they  will 
rightly  regard  as  theirs — derived  from  the  best  reproductive  cells 
possible,  some  of  which  they  deliberately  "adopted"  prior  to  preg- 
nancy, while  the  children,  thus  more  happily  endowed  on  the  average 
than  their  parents,  will  love  these  parents  that  thus  made  them  pos- 
sible and  raised  them  as  their  very  own.  With  higher  intelligence  and 
a  more  deep-rooted  otherliness  of  character  will  come  an  increasing 
range  of  foresight  that  can  plan  ahead  to  reaches  far  beyond  that 
horizon  of  ours  that  in  the  direction  of  the  future  is  so  very  near  us 
and  so  limited. 

As  for  our  horizon  in  the  opposite  direction,  we  have  at  least 
glimpsed  the  grand  panorama  of  the  four  to  five  billion  years  of  evo- 
lution in  the  past,  and  so  we  know  of  what  seeming  miracles  the  plas- 
ticity of  protoplasm — or  DNA  if  you  like — is  ultimately  capable.  It 
is  true  that,  with  our  present  genetic  basis,  culture  alone  has  carried 
us  very  far  and  can  carry  us  very  much  farther  and,  wisely  developed, 
can  give  every  man  a  fitting  place  under  the  sun.  It  is  also  true  that, 
even  with  human  aid,  biological  progress  is  far  slower  than  that  of 
culture.  But  the  total  advance  is  not  the  sum  of  these  two;  it  is  more 
like  the  product  or  even  the  exponent.  Even  as  our  own  culture  could 
not  mean  very  much  to  the  most  superior  ape,  the  culture  of  a  mere 
million  years  from  now  will  be  so  rich  and  advanced  in  its  poten- 
tialities of  experience  and  accomplishment  that  in  it  we,  with  our 
genetic  constitution  of  today,  would  be  like  imbeciles  in  the  palace. 
And  so  I  believe  that  not  only  our  cultural  but  also  our  biological 
evolution  will  go  on  to  now  undreamed-of  heights.  Each  of  these  two 
processes  will  reinforce  the  other  and  with  a  feedback  that  is  not  only 
again  positive  but  also  enormously  more  effective. 

Adams:  This  has  been  an  eloquent  statement  by  a  very  eminent 
geneticist,  and  I  certainly  do  not  dispute  its  biological  basis.  But,  on 

240     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

the  eve  of  this  second  century  after  Darwin,  I  should  like  to  question 
the  social  consequences  of  Muller's  views. 

MuUer's  statement  just  now,  like  earlier  statements  on  this  panel, 
concerned  overpopulation  and  referred  to  a  population  explosion.  A 
counterpoint  was  developed  between  greed  or  reproduction  and  need. 
Unless  disagreement  is  voiced,  this  emphasis  might  very  well  produce 
a  belief  that  the  central  focus  of  an  evolutionistic  approach  must  be 
control  of  population.  (Incidentally,  I  am  not  concerned  here  with  the 
moral  objections  that  might  be  raised  to  this  plan;  others  certainly 

The  first  defect  in  this  view  of  overpopulation  as  our  central  prob- 
lem is  that  it  casts  an  aura  of  unjustified  pessimism  on  all  efforts  to 
achieve  economic  betterment  and  development  before  some  nirvana 
of  population  level  is  reached.  The  generalization  that  an  increasing 
rate  of  per  capita  productivity  is  impossible  in  impoverished  and 
densely  populated  countries  simply  does  not  correspond  with  the  facts, 
as  P.  T.  Bauer  and  B.  S.  Yamey  have  persuasively  argued. 

A  second  defect  in  this  undue  concern  with  overpopulation  is  that 
it  tends  to  focus  attention  on  certain  quantitative  aspects  of  economic 
growth,  particularly  on  a  simple  index  of  output  per  head.  This  ig- 
nores the  crying  need  over  much  of  the  world  for  qualitative  changes 
making  improved  subsistence  possible,  for  such  things  as  land  reform, 
stimulation  of  investments,  and  improvements  in  planning. 

Most  serious  students  will  agree  that  rising  population  is  a  very 
serious  problem.  I  should  be  the  last  to  say  that  we  should  not  be  con- 
cerned about  this;  but  it  would  be  a  mistake  to  express  our  concern 
about  the  future  only,  or  mainly,  in  terms  of  this  single  axis  of  growth. 

[Steward:  I  am  grateful  for  the  opportunity  to  comment  on  our 
fifteenth  point,  which  properly  expresses  concern  about  possible  mis- 
uses of  knowledge  in  controUing  the  future  and,  conversely,  impUes 
optimism,  "provided  that  men  succeed  in  extending  wisdom  and  con- 
science into  this  sphere."  I  doubt  whether  many  of  my  colleagues 
would  subscribe  to  the  implication  that  a  scientist,  by  virtue  of  his 
knowledge  or  conscience,  should  dictate  man's  destiny. 

As  an  individual  citizen,  any  scientist  has  the  undeniable  right  to 
advocate  what  he  pleases,  but  he  should  not  foster  the  illusion  that  his 
goals  are  external  to  himself  and  his  time  and  can  be  scientifically 
validated.  The  evidence  of  cultural  evolution  seems  clearly  to  indicate 
that  goals  and  procedures  have  cultural  determinants.  It  would,  there- 
fore, be  extraordinarily  dangerous  to  place  our  future  in  the  hands 
of  men  who  claim  wisdom  and  conscience.  Hitler  and  Genghis  Khan 
undoubtedly  claimed  to  be  wise;  and  since  all  men  are  shaped  by  their 
cultures,  in  their  own  lights  they  had  great  conscience. 


The  role  of  the  scientist  is  to  analyze  and  interpret;  and  there  is 
still  much  to  learn  about  the  dynamics  of  cultural  evolution.  The  many- 
faceted  views  of  this  panel,  stimulating  as  they  are,  indicate  the  very 
great  disagreement  about  the  nature  of  cultural  evolution.  This  dis- 
cussion has  only  tangentially  touched  upon  the  problem  of  cause-and- 
effect  relationships  that  might  permit  even  tentative  forecasts  into  the 
fairly  near  future. 

The  present  understandings  of  cultural  science  are  most  pertinent 
to  what  we  might  call  "negative  goals."  As  scientists  we  may  hope  to 
throw  some  light  on  the  ways  to  avoid  a  war  of  extermination  or  to 
reduce  the  social  stresses  and  frictions  resulting  from  unequal  distri- 
bution of  opportunity  and  material  goods,  from  racial,  ethnic,  and  re- 
ligious prejudices,  and  from  the  neuroses  and  psychosomatic  ills  to 
which  the  imbalances  and  conflicts  of  modern  life  contribute. 

But  until  we  know  more  about  non-biological  or  exosomatic  cultural 
evolution,  attempts  to  control  cultural  evolution  through  manipulation 
of  human  genetics  would  be  rash.  I  do  not  question  a  deleterious  feed- 
back of  culture  upon  our  genetic  constitution,  but  this  process  ob- 
viously has  no  bearing  on  the  mechanisms  of  cultural  evolution.  In- 
telligence may,  in  the  long  run,  affect  the  rate  of  evolution,  but  I 
know  of  no  shred  of  evidence  that  it  determines  in  any  way  whatever 
the  direction  of  evolution.  Our  distinguished  geneticist  has  suggested 
that  fellowship,  co-operation,  moral  courage  and  integrity,  apprecia- 
tion of  nature  and  art,  and  aptness  of  expression  and  communication 
are  desirable  human  traits.  One  must  agree.  But,  since  each  of  these 
qualities  has  meanings  peculiar  to  its  particular  evolutionary  stage 
and  social  type,  he  surely  cannot  mean  that  they  are  genetically  deter- 

As  for  ills  of  the  human  flesh,  many  of  them  genetically  based,  it 
is  heartwarming  that  a  blind  poet,  a  deaf  musician,  a  consumptive 
novelist,  and  a  hunchback  physicist  have  contributed  so  much  to  our 
intellectual  heritage  as  to  be  classed  as  geniuses.  Since  modern  medi- 
cine now  keeps  most  people  alive  to  fulfil  their  humble — or  exalted — 
destinies  and  the  principal  killers  of  today  are  largely  cancer  and  heart 
disease,  an  all-out  plan  of  eugenics  would  have  to  deprive  nearly  every- 
one of  offspring.] 

Huxley:  I  think  I  ought  to  take  up  what  Adams  has  said,  and  I 
should  also  like  to  comment  on  some  of  the  remarkable  points  my 
old  friend  and  colleague  Muller  raised  in  his  eloquent  and  even  pro- 
phetic speech. 

I  have  been  deeply  interested  in  the  population  problem.  Of  course, 
it  is  not  the  only  problem  we  ought  to  concentrate  on;  but  I  don't 
think  Adams'  point  about  not  bothering  with  economic  development 

242     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

until  we  have  dealt  with  population  is  well  taken.  The  two  are  tied  to- 
gether. Coale  and  Hoover's  careful  study,  for  instance,  has  shown  that 
India  cannot  achieve  industrialization  unless  it  halves  its  birth  rate  in 
the  next  thirty  or  forty  years.  Furthermore,  overrapid  population 
growth  is  destroying  many  of  the  world's  qualitative  resources — re- 
sources for  enjoyment  as  well  as  material  resources  for  use — but  I  do 
not  have  time  to  go  into  that  now. 

I  appreciated  Polak's  admirable  phrase  that  we  must  learn  to  adapt 
the  future  to  our  ideal  aims.  One  of  man's  unique  qualities  is  that  in 
his  evolution  he  is  able  to  preadapt  to  the  future.  Polak  has  reformu- 
lated this  fact  in  a  striking  way. 

When  one  looks  at  the  future  in  the  broadest  possible  way,  it  is 
important  always  to  distinguish  two  viewpoints:  the  most  ultimate  one 
that  you  can  consider — the  ideals  that  Polak  stresses — and  the  nearer 
view,  of  the  immediate  problems.  Each  age  has  its  own  particular 
problems.  The  overproduction  of  people  was  not  a  problem  three  cen- 
turies ago;  the  overproduction  of  cars  or  other  products  was  not  a 
problem  fifty  years  ago;  atomic  war  was  not  a  problem  twenty  years 

But  when  you  look  at  psychosocial  evolution  in  the  long  view,  you 
must  consider  both  its  material  and  its  mental  aspects.  Muller  quite 
rightly  stressed  the  long-term  importance  of  genetic  improvement. 
We  must  not  neglect  the  important  and  equally  essential  improvement 
of  purely  psychosocial  organs — the  organization  of  "mentifacts,"  to 
use  Kroeber's  delightful  word.  We  have  to  create  a  social  organiza- 
tion that  will  enable  the  world  to  function  as  a  unity.  We  have  to  create 
a  world  based  on  science,  but  not  one  entirely  technological.  It  must 
be  naturahstic  and  yet  involve  moral  and  rehgious  values.  We  have 
to  create  art  and  literature  to  express  our  new  world  and  a  new  kind 
of  educational  system  to  prepare  the  new  generations  to  take  their  place 
in  it. 

But  to  return  to  Muller's  main  thesis,  it  is  clear  that,  although  cul- 
tural change  has,  on  the  whole,  become  predominant  in  psychosocial 
evolution,  genetic  change  has  been  going  on  from  the  beginning. 
Muller  brought  out  the  fascinating  point  that,  in  its  early  stages,  there 
was  positive  feedback  between  genetics  and  culture  but  that  now  the 
feedback  has  become  largely  negative.  Undoubtedly  a  great  deal  of 
natural  selection  is  going  on,  in  the  sense  that  different  types  of  people 
are  multiplying  at  different  rates;  and  this  appears  to  be,  on  balance, 
dysgenic,  so  that  we  ought  to  do  something  about  it.  Our  aim,  of 
course,  should  be  to  substitute  some  kind  of  conscious  eugenic  selec- 
tion. I  should  like  to  emphasize  that  we  shall  have  plenty  of  material 
to  work  with.  In  the  human  species  there  is  an  enormous  range  of 


variation,  providing  excellent  opportunities  for  selection.  Thus  I  en- 
tirely agree  with  Muller's  main  contention — that  when  we  have  solved 
our  immediate  problems,  we  should  give  most  attention  to  improving 
our  genetic  heritage. 

Kluckhohn:  Obviously  (but  this  is  a  good  thing,  too),  just  at  the 
point  when  all  of  us  have  something  to  say  and  would  like  to  speak, 
we  must  stop.  I  think  it  is  appropriate  that  we  stop  with  the  man  who 
has  perhaps  played  a  more  central  role  than  anyone  else  in  this  whole 

Before  today's  session  I  had  been  instructed  by  my  betters  to  give 
a  summary,  and  I  duly  started  to  take  some  notes  today;  but  I  see  it 
is  completely  beyond  my  capacity.  I  shall  make  just  one  statement 
about  it,  which  is  what  Simpson,  in  his  great  book,  says  about  the 
process  of  evolution  in  general:  "There  is  both  order  and  disorder  in 



Yesterday  noon  I  was  told  that  the  newspapers  would  appreciate  ad- 
vance copies  of  these  concluding  remarks.  With  four  sessions  out  of 
five  finished,  why  couldn't  I  write  this  speech?  This  reminds  one  of 
the  man  who  cashed  a  check  for  one  hundred  dollars  and  asked  for 
it  in  one-dollar  bills.  The  teller  in  the  bank  suggested  he  count  his 
money,  and  dutifully  he  began,  "One,  two,  three,  four,  five — thirty- 
five,  thirty-six,  thirty-seven — it's  right  so  far,  so  it's  probably  right  the 
rest  of  the  way,"  and  he  stopped  counting.  After  all,  it  was  a  local 
newspaper  that  headlined  the  election  of  Thomas  Dewey  as  president 
of  the  United  States. 

The  fact  is  that  this  is  not  a  wrestling  match  that  was  fixed  in  ad- 
vance. We  knew  each  other's  papers  and  general  points  of  view,  of 
course,  but  not  how  we  stood  on  these  issues  for  discussion.  The  panel- 
ists became  acquainted  during  these  last  days  and  ironed  out  some 
differences  before  coming  to  this  stage.  This  made  the  discussion  more 
useful:  semantics  and  misunderstandings  were  for  the  most  part  put 
to  one  side. 

Last  Tuesday  afternoon,  in  introducing  these  panels,  I  said:  "Charles 
Darwin  broke  through  a  tremendous  fog,  and  one  hundred  years  ago 
this  very  day  gave  us  a  new  understanding  and  perspective,  on  the 
basis  of  which  we  have  done  a  hundred  years  of  fruitful  research.  The 
tremendous  knowledge  gained  in  these  hundred  years  of  science  we 
hope  this  week  to  summarize  and  synthesize.  But,  more  than  that,  I 
at  least  have  some  hope,  or  fond  illusion,  that  on  this  occasion  and 
in  this  hall  we  can  take  a  new,  great  step  forward  to  begin  a  second 
century  of  understanding  ourselves  and  our  cosmos  that  will  do  justice 
to  our  heritage  and  give  hope  for  our  future." 

All  of  us  realize  that  we  have  gone  far  to  summarize  and  to  syn- 
thesize our  present  knowledge  of  evolution.  Never  before  have  so  many 
minds  from  so  many  diverse  specialties  been  put  so  intensively  to  such 
a  task.  At  the  same  tune,  clearly,  nobody  expects  me  at  this  moment 
to  summarize  the  summary  or  synthesize  the  synthesis.  This  will  rather 
be  done  in  the  years  to  come  by  each  of  us  and  by  many  of  you — and  by 
readers  of  the  books  that  will  come  out  of  this  Centennial.  We  shall 


246     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

all  do  it  differently  and  from  different  perspectives,  for  that  is  the  way 
of  science. 

In  the  process  of  the  growth  of  scientific  knowledge,  specialization 
plays  the  part  of  sexual  difference.  As  there  would  be  no  purpose  in 
sex  if  there  were  no  mating,  so  science  requires  that  our  different  knowl- 
edge be  brought  together  so  that  selection  can  act  on  the  new  recom- 
binations. Only  time  will  tell  just  how  important  is  the  event  we  have 
here  witnessed.  But  just  as  one  hundred  years  ago  there  was  full  ap- 
preciation that  the  publication  of  the  Origin  of  Species  was  an  event 
for  history,  so  one  feels  that  history  will  take  a  new  turn  when  it  leaves 
this  room. 

So  that  these  do  not  seem  the  empty  words  that  are  spoken  politely 
at  the  end  of  a  meeting,  let  me  briefly  sketch — as  an  example — how 
this  meeting  has  begun  to  change  my  own  thinking. 

To  an  anthropologist,  biological  evolution  is  taken  for  granted,  but, 
generally  speaking,  we  believe — or  have  believed — that  the  shift  from 
somatic  genetic  evolution  to  psychosocial  or  cultural  evolution  is  a 
change  as  great  as  that  from  the  inorganic  evolution  of  the  universe 
to  the  evolution  of  life.  The  means  of  cultural  evolution  by  symboling, 
as  White  wants  us  to  call  them,  extrasomatic  as  these  are,  are  so  dif- 
ferent that  the  concepts  of  biological  evolution  seemed  not  to  be  very 
useful.  At  best,  the  concepts  of  biology,  like  natural  selection,  seemed 
to  be  analogies  or  even  figures  of  speech,  without  real  meaning  or  valid- 
ity for  evolution  in  the  human  phase. 

After  this  week,  it  seems  to  me  that,  while  the  difference  in  the 
mechanisms  of  growth  are  never  to  be  minimized,  there  is,  neverthe- 
less, a  larger  view  in  which  human  society  and  culture  are  seen  again 
as  part  of  the  natural  order  and  subject  to  the  same  laws  of  evolution 
as  the  rest  of  nature. 

In  our  third  panel,  for  instance,  there  was  a  suggestion  by  Wadding- 
ton  that  started  a  whole  new  train  of  thought  in  my  mind.  He  talked 
about  the  biological  function  of  passing  on  information  from  one  gen- 
eration to  the  next,  which  is  done  genetically  at  some  levels  but  in 
man,  for  the  most  part,  occurs  socially.  In  fact,  it  is  my  understand- 
ing that  no  culture  is  passed  through  the  chromosomes.  I  am  only 
saying  that  information  in  the  sense  that  Waddington  was  using  it  in- 
cludes genetic  characters  as  well  as  sociocultural  characters.  But  in 
all  cases  the  receiving  mechanism  is  as  important  as  the  mechanisms 
for  transmission  of  "information."  Since  humans  transmit  most  in- 
formation by  means  of  language  and  social  behavior  rather  than  di- 
rectly through  the  chromosomes,  the  species  could  not  survive  without 
some  appropriate  receiving  mechanism.  Part  of  this  receiving  mech- 
anism in  humans  is  the  predisposition  of  a  child  to  believe  his  elders 

CONCLUSION     ■     247 

and  to  respect  them.  Later,  he  can  doubt  and  select,  but  there  must 
be  transmission  before  there  can  be  selection. 

The  predisposition  to  believe  must  be  a  biological  thing  and  subject 
to  processes  like  natural  selection.  So  is  the  later  ability  to  doubt  and 
to  select.  Men  as  individuals  need  both  in  order  to  survive.  Human 
communities  have  built  into  them  the  mechanisms  both  of  continuity 
and  of  change. 

A  human  society  in  a  most  significant  sense  is  able  to  control  its 
own  destiny.  I  have  felt  that  culture  freed  us  from  our  biological  base 
and  separated  us  from  our  animal  cousins,  but  it  becomes  clearer 
now  that  this  ability  is  in  a  broader  sense  a  biological  mechanism 
serving  a  biological  need.  Polak  argued  this  morning  for  the  unity  of 
all  life  in  some  ability  to  foresee  the  future;  a  rose,  too,  chooses  its 
destiny.  I  think  I  follow  Huxley's  denial.  I  rather  see  the  unity  in  man's 
free  will  as  a  mechanism  in  our  own  survival  that  in  a  large  sense 
should  be  thought  of  as  biological. 

This  broader  view  of  man  as  part  of  a  single  evolutionary  system, 
at  least  of  this  planet,  comes  to  us — or  at  least  to  me — as  we  bring 
together  our  various  branches  of  knowledge.  It  is  for  each  of  us  as 
individuals  to  take  account  of  new  knowledge  and  relate  it  to  our  own 
personal  philosophies. 

This  afternoon  some  of  us  will  hear  a  discussion  of  the  conflict  of 
science  and  religion.  I  cannot  anticipate  the  result,  but  I  would  hope 
that  in  the  next  hundred  years  our  religious  leaders  may  come  to  quote 
the  Gospel  as  saying,  "Render  unto  science  that  which  belongs  to  sci- 
ence," and  our  scientists  will  leave  it  to  all  of  us  to  interpret  and  use 
facts  as  part  of  a  human  document  of  which  both  introduction  and 
conclusion  are  necessarily  enduring  cultural  values. 

Whether  or  not  this  theological  debate  moves  in  the  second  hundred 
years  to  a  new  level,  our  meeting  this  week  should  help  us,  at  least 
in  America,  to  turn  the  corner  in  accepting  evolution  as  a  fact.  I  sup- 
pose that  there  are  no  schools  where  it  is  taught  that  the  earth  is  flat 
as  a  pancake;  I  wonder  if  there  are  any  classrooms  where  students  are 
told  that  there  is  a  "theory"  that  the  earth  is  a  globe  and  that  it  may 
not  be  true.  But  perhaps  most  of  our  schools  still  teach  evolution,  not 
as  a  fact,  but  as  only  one  alternative  among  explanations  of  how  the 
world  has  come  to  be  what  it  is.  No  matter  what  gets  done  about  our 
religious  beliefs,  this  particular  phenomenon  must  now  come  to  an 
end.  We  cannot  deal  with  the  difficult  problems  of  the  world  unless 
our  education  takes  account  of  demonstrated  empirical  fact. 

A  gentleman  of  the  press  during  our  meeting  asked  me  to  say  some- 
thing now  about  the  future  of  the  evolution  of  man.  Putting  together 
what  we  have  learned  this  week,  including  this  morning,  gives  us  a 

248     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

fairly  clear  answer:  If  man  will  build  on  knowledge  instead  of  preju- 
dice; if  our  society  will  heed  Muller's  advice  this  morning  to  reward 
those  who  look  for  the  good  of  the  whole  rather  than  to  their  selfish 
advantage  (but  not  necessarily  anything  specific  that  Muller  has  said 
this  morning) — if  we  do  these  things,  which  it  is  in  our  power  to  do, 
then  and  only  then  are  we  likely  to  come  out  of  this  alive. 

Is  it  possible,  one  hopefully  asks,  that  this  week  will  become  a  turn- 
ing point  in  human  history  to  which  we  are  witnesses?  My  family  and 
I  happen  to  live  in  the  house  where  Enrico  Fermi  lived  during  the 
war.  That  great  turning  point  in  human  technology — the  first  nuclear 
reaction — occurred  a  pistol  shot  from  where  we  now  sit.  Could  we 
by  setting  in  motion  here  the  steps  that  will  turn  our  ingenuity  to  the 
survival  instead  of  the  destruction  of  the  species,  make  a  new  turning 
point  in  history?  One  still  fondly  hopes. 



Future  historians  will  perhaps  take  this  Centennial  week  as  epitomiz- 
ing an  important  critical  period  in  the  history  of  this  earth  of  ours — 
the  period  when  the  process  of  evolution,  in  the  person  of  inquiring 
man,  began  to  be  truly  conscious  of  itself.  This  is,  so  far  as  I  am  aware, 
the  first  time  that  authorities  on  the  evolutionary  aspects  of  the  three 
great  branches  of  scientific  study — the  inorganic  sciences,  the  life- 
sciences,  and  the  human  sciences — have  been  brought  together  for  mu- 
tual criticism  and  joint  discussion.  We  participants  who  are  assembled 
here,  some  of  us  from  the  remotest  parts  of  the  globe,  by  the  magnifi- 
cently intelligent  enterprise  of  the  University  of  Chicago,  include  repre- 
sentatives of  astronomy,  physics,  and  chemistry;  of  zoology,  botany, 
and  paleontology;  of  physiology,  ecology,  and  ethology;  of  psychology, 
anthropology,  and  sociology.  We  have  all  been  asked  to  contribute 
an  account  of  our  knowledge  and  understanding  of  evolution  in  our 
special  fields  to  the  Centennial's  common  pool,  to  submit  our  contribu- 
tions to  the  criticism  and  comments  of  our  fellow  participants  in  quite 
other  fields,  to  engage  in  pubHc  discussion  of  key  points  in  evolutionary 
theory,  and  to  have  our  contributions  and  discussions  published  to  the 
world  at  large. 

This  is  one  of  the  first  public  occasions  on  which  it  has  been  frankly 
faced  that  all  aspects  of  reality  are  subject  to  evolution,  from  atoms 
and  stars  to  fish  and  flowers,  from  fish  and  flowers  to  human  societies 
and  values — indeed,  that  all  reality  is  a  single  process  of  evolution. 
And  ours  is  the  first  period  in  which  we  have  acquired  sufficient  knowl- 
edge to  begin  to  see  the  outline  of  this  vast  process  as  a  whole. 

Our  evolutionary  vision  now  includes  the  discovery  that  biological 
advance  exists,  and  that  it  takes  place  in  a  series  of  steps  or  grades, 
each  grade  occupied  by  a  successful  group  of  animals  or  plants,  each 
group  sprung  from  a  pre-existing  one  and  characterized  by  a  new  and 
improved  pattern  of  organization. 

SIR  JULIAN  HUXLEY  delivered  this  Darwin  Centennial  Convocation  address 
on  Thanksgiving  Day,  November  26,  1959.  Another  essay,  "The  Emergence  of 
Darwinism,"  appears  in  a  companion  volume,  published  earlier  this  year — Evolution 
After  Darwin.  1.  The  Evolution  of  Life,  pp.  1-21. 


250     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Improved  organization  gives  biological  advantage.  Accordingly,  the 
new  type  becomes  a  successful  or  dominant  group.  It  spreads  and  mul- 
tiplies and  differentiates  into  a  multiplicity  of  branches.  This  new  bio- 
logical success  is  usually  achieved  at  the  biological  expense  of  the 
older  dominant  group  from  which  it  sprang  or  whose  place  it  has 
usurped.  Thus  the  rise  of  the  placental  mammals  was  correlated  with 
the  decline  of  the  terrestrial  reptiles,  and  the  birds  replaced  the  ptero- 
saurs as  dominant  in  the  air. 

Occasionally,  however,  when  the  breakthrough  to  a  new  type  of 
organization  is  also  a  breakthrough  into  a  wholly  new  environment, 
the  new  type  may  not  come  into  competition  with  the  old,  and  both 
may  continue  to  coexist  in  full  flourishment.  Thus  the  evolution  of 
land  vertebrates  in  no  way  interfered  with  the  continued  success  of  the 
teleost  bony  fish. 

The  successive  patterns  of  successful  organization  are  stable  pat- 
terns: they  exemplify  continuity  and  tend  to  persist  over  long  periods. 
Reptiles  have  remained  reptiles  for  three  hundred  million  years:  tor- 
toises, snakes,  lizards,  and  crocodiles  are  all  still  recognizably  reptilian, 
all  variations  on  one  organizational  theme. 

It  is  difficult  for  life  to  transcend  this  stability  and  achieve  a  new 
successful  organization.  That  is  why  breakthroughs  to  new  dominant 
types  are  so  rare — and  also  so  important.  The  reptilian  type  radiated 
out  into  well  over  a  dozen  important  groups  or  orders;  but  all  of  them 
remained  within  the  reptilian  framework  except  two,  which  broke 
through  to  the  new  and  wonderfully  successful  patterns  of  bird  and 

In  the  early  stages,  a  new  group,  however  successful  it  will  eventu- 
ally become,  is  few  and  feeble  and  shows  no  signs  of  the  success  that 
it  may  eventually  achieve.  Its  breakthrough  is  not  an  instantaneous 
matter  but  has  to  be  implemented  by  a  series  of  improvements  which 
eventually  become  welded  into  the  new  stabilized  organization. 

With  mammals,  there  was  first  hair,  then  milk,  then  partial  and 
later  on  full-temperature  regulation,  then  brief  and  finally  prolonged 
internal  development,  with  evolution  of  a  placenta.  Mammals  of  a 
small  and  insignificant  sort  had  existed  and  evolved  for  over  a  hun- 
dred million  years  before  they  achieved  a  full  breakthrough  to  their 
explosive  dominance  in  the  Cenozoic. 

Something  very  similar  occurred  during  our  own  breakthrough  from 
mammalian  to  psychosocial  organization.  Our  prehuman  ape  ances- 
tors were  never  particularly  successful  or  abundant.  There  was  not 
just  one  "missing  link"  between  them  and  us.  For  their  transformation 
into  man  a  series  of  steps  was  needed.  Descent  from  the  trees;  erect  pos- 
ture; some  enlargement  of  brain;  more  carnivorous  habits;  the  use  and 


then  the  making  of  tools;  further  enlargement  of  brain;  the  discovery 
of  fire;  true  speech  and  language;  elaboration  of  tools  and  rituals.  These 
steps  took  the  better  part  of  half  a  million  years:  it  was  not  until  less 
than  a  hundred  thousand  years  ago  that  man  could  begin  to  deserve 
the  title  of  dominant  type  and  not  until  less  than  ten  thousand  years 
ago  that  he  became  fully  dominant. 

After  man's  emergence  as  truly  man,  the  same  sort  of  thing  con- 
tinued to  happen,  but  with  an  important  difference.  Man's  evolution  is 
not  biological  but  psychosocial;  it  operates  by  the  mechanism  of  cul- 
tural tradition,  which  involves  the  cumulative  self-reproduction  and 
self-variation  of  mental  activities  and  their  products.  Accordingly, 
major  steps  in  the  human  phase  of  evolution  are  achieved  by  break- 
throughs to  new  dominant  patterns  of  mental  organization,  of  knowl- 
edge, ideas,  and  beliefs — ideological  instead  of  physiological  or  bio- 
logical organization. 

There  is  a  succession  of  successful  idea-systems  instead  of  a  suc- 
cession of  successful  bodily  organizations.  Each  new,  successful  idea- 
system  spreads  and  dominates  some  important  sector  of  the  world,  un- 
til it  is  superseded  by  a  rival  system  or  itself  gives  birth  to  its  successor 
by  a  breakthrough  to  a  new  organization-system  of  thought  and  belief. 
We  need  only  think  of  the  magic  pattern  of  tribal  thought;  the  god- 
centered  medieval  pattern,  organized  round  the  concept  of  divine 
authority  and  revelation;  and  the  rise  in  the  last  three  centuries  of 
the  science-centered  pattern,  organized  round  the  concept  of  human 
progress,  but  progress  somehow  under  the  control  of  supernatural  Au- 
thority. In  1859,  Darwin  opened  the  passage  leading  to  a  new  psycho- 
social level,  with  a  new  pattern  of  ideological  organization — an  evolu- 
tion-centered organization  of  thought  and  belief. 

Through  the  telescope  of  our  scientific  imagination,  we  can  discern 
the  existence  of  this  new  and  improved  ideological  organization;  but 
its  details  are  not  clear,  and  we  can  also  see  that  the  necessary  steps 
upward  toward  it  are  many  and  hard  to  take. 

Let  me  change  the  metaphor.  To  those  who  did  not  deliberately  shut 
their  eyes  or  who  were  not  allowed  to  look,  it  was  at  once  clear  that 
the  fact  and  concept  of  evolution  was  bound  to  act  as  the  central  germ 
or  living  template  of  a  new  dominant  thought  organization.  And  in 
the  century  since  the  Origin  of  Species,  there  have  been  many  attempts 
to  understand  the  implications  of  evolution  in  many  fields,  from  the 
affairs  of  the  stellar  universe  to  the  affairs  of  men,  and  to  integrate  the 
facts  of  evolution  and  our  knowledge  of  its  processes  into  the  over-all 
organization  of  our  general  thought. 

All  dominant  thought  organizations  are  concerned  with  the  ultimate, 
as  well  as  with  the  immediate,  problems  of  existence  or,  I  should  rather 

252     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

say,  with  the  most  ultimate  problems  that  the  thought  of  the  time  is 
capable  of  formulating  or  even  envisaging.  They  are  all  concerned 
with  giving  some  interpretation  of  man,  of  the  world  which  he  is  to 
live  in,  and  of  his  place  and  role  in  that  world — in  other  words,  some 
comprehensible  picture  of  human  destiny  and  significance. 

The  broad  outlines  of  the  new  evolutionary  picture  of  ultimates  are 
beginning  to  be  visible.  Man's  destiny  is  to  be  the  sole  agent  for  the 
future  evolution  of  this  planet.  He  is  the  highest  dominant  type  to  be 
produced  by  over  two  and  a  half  billion  years  of  the  slow  biological 
improvement  effected  by  the  blind  opportunistic  workings  of  natural 
selection;  if  he  does  not  destroy  himself,  he  has  at  least  an  equal  stretch 
of  evolutionary  time  before  him  to  exercise  his  agency. 

During  the  later  part  of  biological  evolution,  mind — our  word  for 
the  mental  activities  and  properties  of  organisms — emerged  with 
greater  clarity  and  intensity  and  came  to  play  a  more  important  role 
in  the  individual  lives  of  animals.  Eventually  it  broke  through,  to  be- 
come the  basis  for  further  evolution,  though  the  character  of  evolution 
now  became  cultural  instead  of  genetic  or  biological.  It  was  to  this 
breakthrough,  brought  about  by  the  automatic  mechanism  of  natural 
selection  and  not  by  any  conscious  effort  on  his  own  part,  that  man 
owed  his  dominant  evolutionary  position. 

Man  is  therefore  of  immense  significance.  He  has  been  ousted  from 
his  self-imagined  centrality  in  the  universe  to  an  infinitesimal  location 
in  a  peripheral  position  in  one  of  a  million  of  galaxies.  Nor,  it  would 
appear,  is  he  likely  to  be  unique  as  a  sentient  being.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  evolution  of  mind  or  sentiency  is  an  extremely  rare  event  in  the 
vast  meaninglessness  of  the  insentient  universe,  and  man's  particular 
brand  of  sentiency  may  well  be  unique.  But  in  any  case  he  is  highly 
significant.  He  is  a  reminder  of  the  existence,  here  and  there,  in  the 
quantitative  vastness  of  cosmic  matter  and  its  energy  equivalents,  of 
a  trend  toward  mind,  with  its  accompaniment  of  quality  and  richness 
of  existence — and,  what  is  more,  a  proof  of  the  importance  of  mind 
and  quality  in  the  all-embracing  evolutionary  process. 

It  is  only  through  possessing  a  mind  that  he  has  become  the  domi- 
nant portion  of  this  planet  and  the  agent  responsible  for  its  future  evo- 
lution; and  it  will  be  only  by  the  right  use  of  that  mind  that  he  will  be 
able  to  exercise  that  responsibility  rightly.  He  could  all  too  readily  be 
a  failure  in  the  job;  he  will  succeed  only  if  he  faces  it  consciously  and 
if  he  uses  all  his  mental  resources — of  knowledge  and  reason,  of  unagi- 
nation,  sensitivity,  and  moral  effort. 

And  he  must  face  it  unaided  by  outside  help.  In  the  evolutionary 
pattern  of  thought  there  is  no  longer  either  need  or  room  for  the  super- 
natural. The  earth  was  not  created;  it  evolved.  So  did  all  the  animals 


and  plants  that  inhabit  it,  including  our  human  selves,  mind  and  soul 
as  well  as  brain  and  body.  So  did  religion.  Religions  are  organs  of  psy- 
chosocial man  concerned  with  human  destiny  and  with  experiences  of 
sacredness  and  transcendence.  In  their  evolution,  some  (but  by  no 
means  all)  have  given  birth  to  the  concept  of  gods  as  supernatural 
beings  endowed  with  mental  and  spiritual  properties  and  capable  of 
intervening  in  the  affairs  of  nature,  including  man.  Such  supernaturally 
centered  religions  are  early  organizations  of  human  thought  in  its  inter- 
action with  the  puzzling,  complex  world  with  which  it  has  to  contend 
— the  outer  world  of  nature  and  the  inner  world  of  man's  own  nature. 
In  this,  they  resemble  other  early  organizations  of  human  thought  con- 
fronted with  nature,  like  the  doctrine  of  the  Four  Elements,  Earth, 
Air,  Fire  and  Water,  or  the  Eastern  concept  of  rebirth  and  reincarna- 
tion. Like  these,  they  are  destined  to  disappear  in  competition  with 
other,  truer,  and  more  embracing  thought  organizations  which  are 
handling  the  same  range  of  raw  or  processed  experience — in  this  case, 
with  the  new  reUgions  which  are  surely  destined  to  emerge  on  this 
world's  scene. 

Evolutionary  man  can  no  longer  take  refuge  from  his  loneliness  in 
the  arms  of  a  divinized  father-figure  whom  he  has  himself  created,  nor 
escape  from  the  responsibility  of  making  decisions  by  sheltering  under 
the  umbrella  of  Divine  Authority,  nor  absolve  himself  from  the  hard 
task  of  meeting  his  present  problems  and  planning  his  future  by  relying 
on  the  will  of  an  omniscient,  but  unfortunately  inscrutable.  Provi- 

On  the  other  hand,  his  loneliness  is  only  apparent.  He  is  not  alone 
as  a  type.  Thanks  to  the  astronomers,  he  now  knows  that  he  is  one 
among  the  many  organisms  that  bear  witness  to  the  trend  toward 
sentience,  mind,  and  richness  of  being,  operating  so  widely  but  so 
sparsely  in  the  cosmos.  More  important,  thanks  to  Darwin,  he  now 
knows  that  he  is  not  an  isolated  phenomenon,  cut  off  from  the  rest 
of  nature  by  his  uniqueness.  Not  only  is  he  made  of  the  same  matter 
and  operated  by  the  same  energy  as  all  the  rest  of  the  cosmos,  but,  for 
all  his  distinctiveness,  he  is  linked  by  genetic  continuity  with  all  the 
other  Hving  inhabitants  of  his  planet.  Animals,  plants,  and  micro- 
organisms, they  are  all  his  cousins  or  remoter  kin,  all  parts  of  one 
single  evolving  flow  of  metabolizing  protoplasm. 

Nor  is  he  individually  alone  in  his  thinking.  He  exists  and  has  his 
being  in  the  intangible  sea  of  thought  which  Teilhard  de  Chardin  has 
christened  the  "noosphere,"  in  the  same  sort  of  way  that  fish  exist  and 
have  their  being  in  the  material  sea  of  water  which  the  geographers  in- 
clude in  the  term  "hydrosphere."  Floating  in  the  noosphere  there  are, 
for  his  taking,  the  daring  speculations  and  aspiring  ideals  of  man  long 

254     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

dead,  the  organized  knowledge  of  science,  the  hoary  wisdom  of  the 
ancients,  the  creative  imaginings  of  all  the  world's  poets  and  artists. 
And  in  his  own  nature  there  is,  waiting  to  be  called  upon,  an  array  of 
potential  helpers — all  the  possibilities  of  wonder  and  knowledge,  of 
delight  and  reverence,  of  creative  belief  and  moral  purpose,  of  pas- 
sionate effort  and  embracing  love. 

Turning  the  eye  of  an  evolutionary  biologist  upon  this  situation,  I 
would  compare  the  present  stage  of  evolving  man  to  the  geological 
moment,  some  three  hundred  million  years  ago,  when  our  amphibian 
ancestors  were  just  establishing  themselves  out  of  the  world's  water. 
They  had  created  a  bridgehead  into  a  wholly  new  environment — no 
longer  buoyed  up  by  water,  they  had  to  learn  how  to  support  their  own 
weight;  debarred  from  swimming  with  their  muscular  tail,  they  had  to 
learn  to  crawl  with  clumsy  limbs.  The  newly  discovered  realm  of  air 
gave  them  direct  access  to  the  oxygen  they  needed  to  breathe,  but  it 
also  threatened  their  moist  bodies  with  desiccation.  And  though  they 
managed  to  make  do  on  land  during  their  adult  lives,  they  found  them- 
selves still  compulsorily  fishy  during  the  early  part  of  their  lives. 

On  the  other  hand,  they  had  emerged  into  completely  new  freedoms. 
As  fish,  they  had  been  confined  below  a  bounding  surface;  now  the  air 
above  them  expanded  out  into  the  infinity  of  space.  Now  they  were 
free  of  the  banquet  of  small  creatures  prepared  by  the  previous  hun- 
dred million  years  of  life's  terrestrial  evolution.  The  earth's  land  surface 
provided  a  greater  variety  of  opportunity  than  did  its  waters  and, 
above  all,  a  much  greater  range  of  challenge  to  evolving  life.  Could 
the  early  Stegocephalians  have  been  gifted  with  imagination,  they 
might  have  seen  before  them  the  possibility  of  walking,  running,  per- 
haps even  flying  over  the  earth;  the  probability  of  their  descendants 
escaping  from  bondage  to  winter  cold  by  regulating  their  temperature 
and  escaping  from  bondage  to  the  waters  by  constructing  private  ponds 
for  their  early  development;  the  inevitability  of  an  upsurge  of  their  dim 
minds  to  new  levels  of  clarity  and  performance.  But  meanwhile  they 
would  see  themselves  tied  to  an  ambiguous  existence,  neither  one 
thing  nor  the  other,  on  the  narrow  moist  margin  between  water  and 
air.  They  could  have  seen  the  promised  land  afar  off,  though  but  dunly 
through  their  bleary,  newtish  eyes.  But  they  would  also  have  seen  that, 
to  reach  it,  they  would  have  to  achieve  many  difiicult  and  arduous 
transformations  of  their  being  and  way  of  life. 

So  with  ourselves.  We  have  only  recently  emerged  from  the  biologi- 
cal to  the  psychosocial  area  of  evolution,  from  the  earthy  biosphere  into 
the  freedom  of  the  noosphere.  Do  not  let  us  forget  how  recently:  we 
have  been  truly  men  for  perhaps  a  tenth  of  a  million  years — one  tick 
of  evolution's  clock;  even  as  protomen,  we  have  existed  for  under  one 


million  years — less  than  a  two-thousandth  fraction  of  evolutionary 
time.  No  longer  supported  and  steered  by  a  framework  of  instincts,  we 
try  to  use  our  conscious  thought  and  purposes  as  organs  of  psycho- 
social locomotion  and  direction  through  the  tangles  of  our  existence — 
but  so  far  with  only  moderate  success  and  with  the  production  of  much 
evil  and  horror,  as  well  as  of  some  beauty  and  glory  of  achievement. 
We  too  have  colonized  only  an  ambiguous  margin  between  an  old 
bounded  environment  and  the  new  territories  of  freedom.  Our  feet  still 
drag  in  the  biological  mud,  even  when  we  lift  our  heads  into  the  con- 
scious air.  But,  unlike  those  remote  ancestors  of  ours,  we  can  truly  see 
something  of  the  promised  land  beyond.  We  can  do  so  with  the  aid  of 
our  new  instrument  of  vision — our  rational,  knowledge-based  imagi- 
nation. Like  the  earUest  pre-Galilean  telescopes,  it  is  still  a  very  primi- 
tive instrument  and  gives  a  feeble  and  often  distorted  view.  But,  like 
the  early  telescopes,  it  is  capable  of  immense  improvement  and  could 
reveal  many  secrets  of  our  noospheric  home  and  destiny. 

Meanwhile,  no  mental  telescope  is  required  to  see  the  immediate 
evolutionary  landscape  and  the  frightening  problems  which  inhabit  it. 
All  that  is  needed — but  that  is  plenty! — is  for  us  to  cease  being  in- 
tellectual and  moral  ostriches  and  take  our  heads  out  of  the  sand  of 
wilful  bUndness.  If  we  do  so,  we  shall  soon  see  that  the  alarming 
problems  are  two-faced  and  are  also  stimulating  challenges. 

What  are  those  alarming  monsters  in  our  evolutionary  path?  I  would 
list  them  as  follows.  The  threat  of  superscientific  war,  nuclear,  chemi- 
cal, and  biological;  the  threat  of  overpopulation;  the  rise  and  appeal 
of  Communist  ideology,  especially  in  the  underprivileged  sectors  of 
the  world's  people;  the  failure  to  bring  China,  with  nearly  a  quarter 
of  the  world's  population,  into  the  world  organization  of  the  United 
Nations;  the  erosion  of  the  world's  cultural  variety;  our  general  pre- 
occupation with  means  rather  than  ends,  with  technology  and  quantity 
rather  than  creativity  and  quahty;  and  the  revolution  of  expectation 
caused  by  the  widening  gap  between  the  haves  and  the  have-nots,  be- 
tween the  rich  and  the  poor  nations. 

Today  is  Thanksgiving  Day.  But  millions  of  people  now  living  have 
little  cause  to  give  thanks  for  anything.  When  I  was  in  India  this  spring, 
a  Hindu  man  was  arrested  for  the  murder  of  his  small  son.  He  ex- 
plained that  his  life  was  so  miserable  that  he  had  killed  the  boy  as  a 
sacrifice  to  the  goddess  Kali,  in  the  hope  that  she  would  help  him  in 
return.  That  is  an  extreme  case.  But  let  us  remember  that  two-thirds 
of  the  world's  people  are  underprivileged — underfed,  underhealthy, 
undereducated — and  that  millions  of  them  live  in  squalor  and  suffer- 
ing. They  have  little  to  be  thankful  for,  save  hope  that  they  will  be 
helped  to  escape  from  this  misery.  If  we  m  the  West  do  not  give  them 

256     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

aid,  they  will  look  to  other  systems  for  help — or  even  turn  from  hope 
to  destructive  despair. 

We  attempt  to  deal  with  these  problems  piecemeal,  often  half- 
heartedly; sometimes,  as  with  population,  we  refuse  to  recognize  it 
officially  as  a  world  problem  (just  as  we  refuse  to  recognize  Com- 
munist China  as  a  world  power).  In  reahty,  they  are  not  separate  mon- 
sters, to  be  dealt  with  by  a  series  of  separate  ventures,  however  heroic 
or  saintly.  They  are  all  symptoms  of  a  new  evolutionary  situation;  and 
this  can  be  successfully  met  only  in  the  light  and  with  the  aid  of  a  new 
organization  of  thought  and  belief,  a  new  dominant  pattern  of  ideas. 

It  is  hard  to  break  through  the  firm  framework  of  an  accepted 
belief  system  and  build  a  new  acceptable  successor,  but  it  is  necessary. 
It  is  necessary  to  organize  our  ad  hoc  ideas  and  scattered  values  into 
a  unitive  pattern,  transcending  conflicts  and  divisions  in  its  unitary 
web.  Only  by  such  a  reconcifiation  of  opposites  and  disparates  can 
our  belief-system  release  us  from  inner  conflicts;  only  so  can  we  gain 
that  peaceful  assurance  that  wiH  help  unlock  our  energies  for  develop- 
ment in  strenuous  practical  action. 

Somehow  or  other,  we  must  make  our  new  pattern  of  thinking 
evolution-centered.  It  can  give  us  assurance  by  reminding  us  of  our 
long  evolutionary  rise;  how  this  was  also,  strangely  and  wonderfully, 
the  rise  of  the  mind;  and  how  that  rise  culminated  in  the  eruption  of 
mind  as  the  dominant  factor  in  evolution  and  led  to  our  own  spectacu- 
lar, but  precarious,  evolutionary  success.  It  can  give  us  hope  by  point- 
ing to  the  eons  of  evolutionary  time  that  lie  ahead  of  our  species  if  it 
does  not  destroy  itself  or  damage  its  own  chances;  by  recalling  how 
the  increase  in  man's  understanding  and  the  improved  organization  of 
his  knowledge  have  in  fact  enabled  him  to  make  a  whole  series  of  ad- 
vances, such  as  control  of  infectious  disease  or  efiiciency  of  telecom- 
munication, and  to  transcend  a  whole  set  of  apparently  unbridgeable 
oppositions,  like  the  conflict  between  Islam  and  Christendom  or  that 
between  the  seven  Kingdoms  of  the  Heptarchy;  and  by  reminding  us 
of  the  vast  stores  of  human  possibility — of  inteUigence,  imagination, 
co-operative  good  will — which  still  remain  untapped. 

Our  new  organization  of  thought — belief -system,  framework  of 
values,  ideology,  caH  it  what  you  will — must  grow  and  be  developed 
in  the  light  of  our  new  evolutionary  vision.  So,  in  the  first  place,  it  must, 
of  course,  itself  be  evolutionary.  That  is  to  say,  it  must  help  us  to  think 
in  terms  of  an  overriding  process  of  change,  development,  and  pos- 
sible improvement;  to  have  our  eyes  on  the  future  rather  than  on  the 
past;  to  find  support  in  the  growing  body  of  our  knowledge,  not  in 
fixed  dogma  or  ancient  authority. 

Equally,  of  course,  the  evolutionary  outlook  must  be  scientific,  not 


in  the  sense  that  it  rejects  or  neglects  other  human  activities,  but  in 
believing  in  the  value  of  the  scientific  method  for  eliciting  knowledge 
from  ignorance  and  truth  from  error  and  in  basing  itself  on  the  firm 
ground  of  scientifically  established  knowledge.  Unlike  most  theolo- 
gies, it  accepts  the  inevitability  and,  indeed,  the  desirability  of  change, 
and  it  advances  by  welcoming  new  discovery  even  when  this  conflicts 
with  old  ways  of  thinking. 

The  only  way  in  which  the  present  split  between  religion  and  science 
could  be  mended  would  be  through  the  acceptance  by  science  of  the 
fact  and  value  of  religion  as  an  organ  of  evolving  man  and  the  accept- 
ance by  religion  that  religions  do  and  must  evolve. 

Next,  the  evolutionary  outlook  must  be  global.  Man  is  strong  and 
successful  insofar  as  he  operates  in  interthinking  groups,  which  are 
able  to  pool  their  knowledge  and  beliefs.  To  have  any  success  in  ful- 
filling his  destiny  as  the  controller  or  agent  of  future  evolution  on 
earth,  he  must  become  one  single  interthinking  group,  with  one  general 
framework  of  ideas;  otherwise  his  mental  energies  will  be  dissipated  in 
ideological  conflict.  Science  gives  us  a  foretaste  of  what  could  be.  It 
is  already  global,  with  scientists  of  every  nation  contributing  to  its  ad- 
vance; and,  because  it  is  global,  it  is  advancing  fast.  In  every  field 
we  must  aim  to  transcend  nationalism,  and  the  first  step  toward  this  is 
to  think  globally — how  could  this  or  that  task  be  achieved  by  interna- 
tional co-operation  rather  than  by  separate  action? 

But  our  thinking  must  also  be  concerned  with  the  individual.  The 
well-developed,  well-patterned  individual  human  being  is,  in  a  strictly 
scientific  sense,  the  highest  phenomenon  of  which  we  have  any  knowl- 
edge, and  the  variety  of  individual  personalities  is  the  world's  highest 

The  individual  need  not  feel  just  a  meaningless  cog  in  the  social 
machine  or  merely  the  helpless  prey  and  sport  of  vast  impersonal  forces. 
He  can  do  something  to  develop  his  own  personality,  to  discover  his 
own  talents  and  possibilities,  to  interact  personally  and  fruitfully  with 
other  individuals.  If  so,  in  his  own  person,  he  is  effecting  an  important 
realization  of  evolutionary  possibility:  he  is  contributing  his  own  per- 
sonal quality  to  the  fulfihnent  of  human  destiny.  He  has  assurance 
of  his  own  significance  in  the  greater  and  more  enduring  whole  of 
which  he  is  part. 

I  spoke  of  quality.  This  must  be  the  dominant  concept  of  our  new 
belief-system — quality  and  richness  as  against  quantity  and  uniformity. 

Though  our  new  idea-pattern  must  be  unitary,  it  need  not  and 
should  not  impose  a  drab  or  boring  cultural  uniformity.  A  well-organ- 
ized system,  whether  of  thought,  expression,  social  life,  or  anything 
else,  has  both  unity  and  richness.  Cultural  variety,  both  in  the  world 

258     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

as  a  whole  and  within  its  separate  countries,  is  the  spice  of  life;  yet 
it  is  being  threatened  and  indeed  eroded  away  by  mass  production, 
mass  communications,  mass  conformity,  and  all  the  other  forces 
making  for  uniformization — an  ugly  word  for  an  ugly  thing!  We  have 
to  work  hard  to  preserve  and  foster  it. 

One  sphere  where  individual  variety  could  and  should  be  encour- 
aged is  education.  In  many  school  systems,  under  the  pretext  of  so- 
called  democratic  equality,  variety  of  gifts  and  capacity  is  now  actually 
being  discouraged.  The  duller  children  become  frustrated  by  being 
rushed  too  fast,  the  brighter  become  frustrated  by  being  held  back  and 

Our  new  idea-system  must  jettison  the  democratic  myth  of  equality. 
Human  beings  are  not  born  equal  in  gifts  or  potentiaUties,  and  human 
progress  stems  largely  from  the  very  fact  of  their  inequality.  "Free 
but  unequal"  should  be  our  motto,  and  diversity  of  excellence,  not 
conforming  normalcy  or  mere  adjustment,  should  be  the  aim  of  edu- 

Population  is  people  in  the  mass;  and  it  is  in  regard  to  population 
that  the  most  drastic  reversal  or  reorientation  of  our  thinking  has  be- 
come necessary.  The  unprecedented  population  explosion  of  the  last 
half -century  has  strikingly  exemplified  the  Marxist  principle  of  the 
passage  of  quantity  into  quality.  Mere  increase  in  quantity  of  people  is 
increasingly  affecting  the  quality  of  their  lives,  and  affecting  it  almost 
wholly  for  the  worse. 

Population  increase  is  already  destroying  or  eroding  many  of  the 
world's  resources,  both  those  for  material  subsistence  and  those — 
equally  essential  but  often  neglected — for  human  enjoyment  and  fulfil- 
ment. Early  in  man's  history  the  injunction  to  increase  and  multiply 
was  right.  Today  it  is  wrong,  and  to  obey  it  will  be  disastrous.  The 
Western  world,  the  United  States  in  particular,  has  to  achieve  the 
difficult  task  of  reversing  the  direction  of  its  thought  about  population. 
It  has  to  begin  thinking  that  we  should  aim — not  at  increase  but  at 
decrease — certainly  and  quickly  a  decrease  in  the  rate  of  population 
growth  and,  in  the  long  run  equally  certainly,  a  decrease  in  the  abso- 
lute number  of  people  in  the  world,  including  our  own  countries. 

The  spectacle  of  explosive  population  increase  is  prompting  us  to 
ask  the  simple  but  basic  question  What  are  people  for?  And  we  see 
that  the  answer  has  something  to  do  with  their  quality  as  human  beings 
and  the  quality  of  their  lives  and  their  achievements. 

We  must  make  the  same  reversal  of  ideas  about  our  economic  sys- 
tem. At  the  moment  (and  again  I  take  the  United  States  as  most  repre- 
sentative) our  Western  economic  system  (which  is  steadily  invading 


new  regions)  is  based  on  expanding  production  for  profit,  and  produc- 
tion for  profit  is  based  on  expanding  consumption.  As  one  writer  has 
put  it,  tlie  American  economy  depends  on  persuading  more  people  to 
believe  they  want  to  consume  more  products. 

But,  like  population  explosion,  this  consumption  explosion  cannot 
continue  much  longer;  it  is  an  inherently  self-defeating  process.  Sooner, 
rather  than  later,  we  must  get  away  from  a  system  based  on  artificially 
increasing  the  number  of  human  wants  and  set  about  constructing  one 
aimed  at  the  qualitative  satisfaction  of  real  human  needs,  spiritual  and 
mental  as  well  as  material  and  physiological.  This  means  abandoning 
the  pernicious  habit  of  evaluating  every  human  project  solely  in  terms 
of  its  utility — by  which  the  evaluators  mean  solely  its  material  utility 
and  especially  its  utility  in  making  a  profit  for  somebody. 

Once  we  truly  believe  (and  true  belief,  however  necessary,  is  rarely 
easy) — once  we  truly  believe  that  man's  destiny  is  to  make  possible 
greater  fulfilment  for  more  human  beings  and  fuller  achievement  by 
human  societies,  utifity  in  the  customary  sense  becomes  subordinate. 
Quantity  of  material  production  is,  of  course,  necessary  as  the  basis 
for  the  satisfaction  of  elementary  human  needs — but  only  up  to  a 
certain  degree.  More  than  a  certain  number  of  calories  or  cocktails  or 
TV  sets  or  washing  machines  per  person  is  not  merely  unnecessary  but 
bad.  Quantity  of  material  production  is  a  means  to  a  further  end,  not 

an  end  in  itself. 

The  important  ends  of  man's  life  include  the  creation  and  enjoy- 
ment of  beauty,  both  natural  and  man-made;  increased  comprehen- 
sion and  a  more  assured  sense  of  significance;  the  preservation  of  all 
sources  of  pure  wonder  and  dehght,  hke  fine  scenery,  wild  animals  m 
freedom,  or  unspoiled  nature;  the  attainment  of  inner  peace  and  har- 
mony; the  feeling  of  active  participation  in  embracing  and  endurmg 
projects,  including  the  cosmic  project  of  evolution.  It  is  through  such 
things  that  individuals  attain  greater  fulfilment. 

As  for  nations  and  societies,  they  are  remembered  not  for  their 
wealth  or  comforts  or  technologies  but  for  their  great  buildings  and 
works  of  art,  their  achievements  in  science  or  law  or  political  philoso- 
phy, their  success  in  liberating  human  thought  from  the  shackles  of 
fear  and  ignorance. 

Although  it  is  to  his  mind  that  man  owes  both  his  present  dominant 
position  in  evolution  and  any  advances  he  may  have  made  during  his 
tenure  of  that  position,  he  is  still  strangely  ignorant  and  even  super- 
stitious about  it.  The  exploration  of  the  mind  has  barely  begun.  It 
must  be  one  of  the  main  tasks  of  the  coming  era,  just  as  was  the  ex- 
ploration of  the  world's  surface  a  few  centuries  ago.  Psychological 

260     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

exploration  will  doubtless  reveal  as  many  surprises  as  did  geographical 
exploration  and  will  make  available  to  our  descendants  all  kinds  of 
new  possibilities  of  fuller  and  richer  living. 

Finally,  the  evolutionary  vision  is  enabling  us  to  discern,  however 
incompletely,  the  lineaments  of  the  new  religion  that  we  can  be  sure 
will  arise  to  serve  the  needs  of  the  coming  era.  Just  as  stomachs  are 
bodily  organs  concerned  with  digestion  and  involving  the  biochemical 
activity  of  special  juices,  so  are  religions  psychosocial  organs  of  man 
concerned  with  the  problems  of  destiny  and  involving  the  emotion  of 
sacredness  and  the  sense  of  right  and  wrong. 

Religion  of  some  sort  is  certainly  a  normal  function  of  psychosocial 
existence.  It  seems  to  be  necessary  to  man.  But  it  is  not  necessarily  a 
good  thing.  It  was  not  a  good  thing  when  the  Hindu  I  read  about  this 
spring  killed  his  son  as  a  rehgious  sacrifice.  It  is  not  a  good  thing  that 
religious  pressure  has  made  it  illegal  to  teach  evolution  in  Tennessee 
because  it  conflicts  with  fundamentalist  beliefs.  It  is  not  a  good  thing 
that  in  Connecticut  and  Massachusetts  women  should  be  subject  to 
grievous  suffering  because  Roman  Catholic  pressure  refuses  to  allow 
even  doctors  to  give  information  on  birth  control  even  to  non-Catho- 
lics. It  was  not  a  good  thing  for  Christians  to  persecute  and  even  burn 
heretics;  it  is  not  a  good  thing  when  communism,  in  its  dogmatic- 
religious  aspect,  persecutes  and  even  executes  deviationists. 

The  emergent  religion  of  the  near  future  could  be  a  good  thing.  It 
will  believe  in  knowledge.  It  should  be  able  to  take  advantage  of  the 
vast  amount  of  new  knowledge  produced  by  the  knowledge  explosion 
of  the  last  few  centuries  to  construct  what  we  may  call  its  "theology" — 
the  framework  of  facts  and  ideas  which  provide  it  with  intellectual 
support;  it  should  be  able,  with  our  increased  knowledge  of  mind,  to 
define  our  sense  of  right  and  wrong  more  clearly  so  as  to  provide  a 
better  moral  support;  it  should  be  able  to  focus  the  feefing  of  sacredness 
onto  fitter  objects,  instead  of  worshiping  supernatural  rulers,  so  as  to 
provide  truer  spiritual  support,  to  sanctify  the  higher  manifestations  of 
human  nature  in  art  and  love,  in  intellectual  comprehension  and  as- 
piring adoration,  and  to  emphasize  the  fuller  reahzation  of  life's  possi- 
bilities as  a  sacred  trust. 

Thus  the  evolutionary  vision,  first  opened  up  to  us  by  Charles  Dar- 
win a  century  back,  illuminates  our  existence  in  a  simple,  but  almost 
overwhelming,  way.  It  exemplifies  the  truth  that  truth  is  great  and  will 
prevail,  and  the  greater  truth  that  truth  will  set  us  free.  Evolutionary 
truth  frees  us  from  subservient  fear  of  the  unknown  and  supernatural 
and  exhorts  us  to  face  this  new  freedom  with  courage  tempered  with 
wisdom  and  hope  tempered  with  knowledge.  It  shows  us  our  destiny 
and  our  duty.  It  shows  us  mind  enthroned  above  matter,  quantity  sub- 


ordinate  to  quality.  It  gives  our  anxious  minds  support  by  revealing 
the  incredible  possibilities  that  have  already  been  realized  in  evolu- 
tion's past  and,  by  pointing  to  the  hidden  treasure  of  fresh  possibili- 
ties that  could  be  realized  in  its  long  future,  it  gives  man  a  potent  in- 
centive for  fulfilling  his  evolutionary  role  in  the  universe. 


Announcer:  A  university  draws  together  men  and  women  con- 
cerned with  ideas  and  events.  It  provides  a  meeting  place  for  the  in- 
formed and  for  the  curious,  for  all  engaged  in  man's  pursuit  of  knowl- 
edge. This  evening  the  University  of  Chicago  presents  another  in  its 
series  of  discussion  programs  on  "All  Things  Considered."  Tonight's 
subject  concerns  "Issues  in  Evolution."  The  participants  are  Sir  Julian 
Huxley,  biologist  and  writer  and  Visiting  Professor  at  the  University 
of  Chicago;  Ilza  Veith,  Associate  Professor,  Departments  of  Medicine 
and  History;  and  Robert  M.  Adams,  Assistant  Professor  in  the  Depart- 
ment of  Anthropology,  and  Research  Associate  in  the  Oriental  Insti- 
tute. Leading  the  discussion  is  Alec  Sutherland,  Director  of  Educa- 
tional Broadcasting,  the  University  of  Chicago. 

Sutherland:  I  should  like  to  begin  this  evening  with  a  personal 
anecdote.  About  thirty  years  ago  I  invested  a  day's  pay  to  buy  a  ticket 
for  a  lecture  in  Glasgow;  and  at  the  end  of  this  lecture,  which  was  on 
biology,  there  was  the  usual  man  in  the  audience  who,  in  exchange 
for  his  half-crown,  wanted  answers  to  two  questions:  What  is  uhi- 
mate  truth?  and  what  was  the  lecturer  going  to  do  when  we  discov- 
ered it?  And  the  lecturer  said,  "I  don't  know  what  it  is,  and  when  we 
discover  it,  I  shall  be  out  of  a  job."  That  particular  lecturer  is  now 
sitting  at  the  opposite  end  of  this  table.  I  doubt  if  he  remembers  the 
occasion  very  well,  but  I  am  sure  he  is  still  gainfully  employed.  Do 
you  remember  that? 

Huxley:  I  have  no  recollection  of  it,  but  I  am  delighted  to  learn 
that  I  said  such  a  good  thing. 

Sutherland:  We  have^been  celebrating  Darwin's  centennial  here, 
and  I  should  like  to  ask  each  of  our  participants  what  the  impact  of 
the  Centennial  was  on  him. 

Veith:  I  feel  that  the  greatest  impact  on  me  was  the  exchange  of 
ideas  with  my  fellow  panelists  and  the  opportunity  to  gauge  the  work 

Educational  station  WTTW  (Chicago,  Channel  11)  presented  this  television  pro- 
gram on  the  Tuesday  following  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration,  December  1, 


264     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

they  had  done  and  to  see  that  all  of  them  are  basically  working  in  fields 
related  to  evolution. 

Adams:  That  comes  rather  close  to  my  own  reaction.  Looking 
back  over  the  whole  series  of  panels,  I  think  the  exchange  was  par- 
ticularly important  as  one  moved  from  the  biological  to  the  social  and 
cultural  end  of  the  spectrum  into  fields  that  have  tended  to  use  an 
approach  that  is  cautious,  holistic,  essentially  differentiating,  and 
analytical.  Those  of  us  who  were  anthropologists  came  away  with  an 
enhanced  sense  that  evolution  is  continuous  and  that  we  are  involved 
with  the  same  kinds  of  problems  as  biologists,  zoologists,  and  psycholo- 
gists. This  forceful  bringing  home  of  the  connection  between  general 
theory  and  substantive  studies  was  very  important  for  me. 

Huxley:  I  agree.  This  mixing  up  of  persons  from  different  disci- 
plines in  the  discussions  was  a  wonderful  thing.  Perhaps  the  most  im- 
portant was  bringing  together  biologists  and  anthropologists,  because 
they  have  a  great  deal  to  learn  from  each  other;  but  the  physicists  and 
physiologists  and  biochemists  also  contributed  to  the  fruitful  mixing. 
And  we  came  to  realize  that  all  of  us  were  interested  from  different 
angles  in  this  one  over-all  process  that  is  called  "evolution"  and  that 
we  had  to  achieve  some  unification  of  our  thought  about  it. 

Sutherland:  All  of  you  were  concerned  with  evolution  in  rather 
specialized  ways.  Have  you  any  views  on  the  effect  of  your  discussions 
on  the  lay  public? 

Veith:  Simply  judging  from  the  behavior  of  the  lay  public  attend- 
ing our  meetings,  the  interest  must  have  been  enormous.  They  came 
in  masses,  stayed  to  the  very  end  of  each  panel,  and  seemed  com- 
pletely lost  in  what  was  going  on  in  the  discussions. 

Huxley:  It  was  very  remarkable.  They  even  applauded  at  the  end. 

Veith:  Another  point  is  that  the  press  reported  the  events  that 
went  on  in  Mandel  Hall;  and  from  the  reaction  of  the  press  we  have 
a  definite  impression  that  what  was  said  was  considered  tremendously 
important  even  by  those  members  of  the  general  public  who  were  not 
present  but  wanted  to  be  informed. 

Adams:  Another  aspect  of  the  impact  of  the  panels  might  be  worth 
bringing  out  here.  Too  often  in  the  newspapers,  on  the  radio,  and  also, 
one  would  suspect,  in  the  public's  mind,  research  is  identified  with 
some  discrete  and  apparently  infinitesimal  finding,  whereas  here  what 
was  being  presented  was  an  entire  framework  of  research  in  a  huge 

Huxley:  I  think  that  was  extremely  important.  The  first  thing  the 
Celebration  did,  I  am  sure,  was  to  convince  a  large  number  of  people 
that  there  was  no  point  arguing  about  the  theory  of  evolution.  (By  the 
way,  the  Centennial  was  not  supposed  to  commemorate  the  theory; 

ALL  THINGS  CONSIDERED     ■     265 

it  commemorated  an  actual  event,  the  publication  of  Darwin's  book 
On  the  Origin  of  Species  by  Means  of  Natural  Selection.)  It  simply 
is  not  just  a  theory  any  longer;  it  is  a  fact,  hke  the  fact  that  the  earth 
goes  around  the  sun  and  that  the  planets  do  all  sorts  of  things.  As 
Adams  said,  the  panels  were  pursuing  the  implications  of  this  idea 
in  all  sorts  of  fields,  not  in  relation  to  any  particular  discovery,  but  in 
working  out  gradually  what  evolution  meant  for  different  branches 
of  science.  If  it  comes  to  a  particular  field,  I  think  one  of  the  high- 
lights of  the  Celebration  was  Leakey's  presence,  with  his  new  finds 
from  Africa.  As  was  brought  out  very  clearly  in  Panel  Three,  we  can 
no  longer  talk  about  the  "missing  link";  there  isn't  such  a  thing.  There 
was  a  rapid  passage  from  the  prehuman  to  the  human,  but  it  took 
place  in  a  series  of  steps  over  a  considerable  period  of  time.  The  other 
point  that  I  think  was  brought  home  to  the  people  who  attended  the 
panels  was  that  you  can  no  longer  talk  about  creation.  Animals,  plants, 
and  human  beings  evolved;  they  were  not  created  in  the  bibhcal  sense. 

Sutherland:  We  have  talked  about  Panel  Three.  What  were  the 
rest  of  the  panels.  Dr.  Veith?  You  had  a  role  in  planning  them. 

Veith:  Perhaps  it  would  be  best  simply  to  read  the  titles  of  the 
various  panels.  I  think  they  are  descriptive  enough.  The  first  panel 
dealt  with  the  origin  of  life;  the  second,  with  the  evolution  of  life;  and 
the  third — the  one  about  which  Sir  Julian  has  been  talking — dealt 
with  man  as  an  organism.  The  fourth  panel,  with  which  I  was  most 
closely  associated,  dealt  with  the  evolution  of  mind;  and  the  final  one, 
with  which  Mr.  Adams  was  associated,  concerned  social  and  cultural 

Sutherland:  I  should  like  to  hear  something  about  the  origin  of 

Huxley:  There,  again,  I  think  what  happened  was  very  important. 
This  was  the  first  occasion  on  which  at  a  pubfic  celebration  the  origin 
of  life  had  become  a  topic  of  really  scientific  discussion.  Twenty  years 
ago  we  could  not  have  discussed  it  scientifically.  Now,  thanks  to  the 
work  of  Urey,  Oparin,  Haldane,  and  others,  it  is  a  subject  that  can  be 
discussed  scientifically.  We  can  begin  to  see  what  steps  were  taken  in 
the  passage  from  the  non-Hving  to  the  living,  and  we  can  suggest  lines 
of  experimental  approach  to  test  our  theories.  I  think  this  first  panel 
was  a  very  important  education  for  the  panelists  as  well  as  for  the 
general  public. 

Sutherland:  What  about  the  evolution  of  life? 

Huxley:  Of  course,  that  is  the  field  in  which  most  work  has  been 
done;  after  all,  it  is  the  area  where  the  theory  of  evolution  was 
launched.  I  think  two  main  points  emerged  from  the  discussion.  First, 
that  all  reputable  evolutionary  biologists  now  agree  that  the  evolution 

266     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

of  life  is  directed  by  the  process  of  natural  selection,  and  by  nothing 
else,  and  that  they  have  demonstrated  its  happening.  Second,  that  the 
course  of  evolution  involves  three  main  subprocesses:  the  process  of 
branching  into  different  forms;  the  process  of  biological  improvement 
of  the  different  lines;  and  the  process  of  stabilization,  by  which  a  suc- 
cessful type  somehow  crystallizes  out  and  persists  over  many  millions 
of  years,  unless  it  is  superseded  by  one  of  the  rare  accidental  break- 
throughs to  another  type. 

Adams:  I  had  the  feeling  that  Panel  Two  came  very  close  to  being 
the  central  focus  of  the  whole  series;  we  moved  out  in  various  direc- 
tions from  the  processes  and  generalizations  that  were  seen  there  in 
their  clearest  and  broadest  forms.  It  was  interesting  to  see  the  extent 
to  which  members  of  other  panels  picked  up  terminology  from  the 
background  papers  for  this  panel  and  tried  to  use  it  in  a  different  con- 

Sutherland:  Where  did  evolution  of  mind  fit  into  this? 

Veith:  Actually,  evolution  of  mind  fits  anywhere;  because  the  mind 
is  part  of  any  human  and  non-human  function,  it  would  have  fit  into 
any  of  the  panels.  I  think  it  was  quite  accidental  that  it  happened  to 
be  Panel  Four.  We  began  with  the  clear  statement  and  the  clear 
thought  that  Darwin's  work  has  had  a  tremendous  impact  on  the  be- 
havioral sciences.  All  those  who  are  in  any  way  connected  with  the 
study  of  behavior  of  the  mind — or  the  study  of  the  brain,  since  mind 
is  a  very  difficult  thing  to  define — have  enriched  or  added  to  Dar- 
winian principles  and  Darwinian  reasoning.  We  proceeded  on  the 
assumption  that  the  evolution  of  the  mind  and  the  faculty  of  mind 
and  behavior  can  be  studied  as  can  be  any  other  organic  function. 
Several  of  our  participants  were  particularly  interested  in  the  study 
of  the  mind  in  animals,  which  has  now  received  the  special  designation 
ethology — the  study  of  animal  behavior.  Many  signs  of  mental  func- 
tion appear  in  the  animal  world.  Emotional  attitudes  have  been  dis- 
covered in  animals.  Learning  by  imitation  and  even  value  systems 
have  been  recognized  as  existing  in  animal  groups.  Tinbergen,  one  of 
the  leading  ethologists,  gave  particularly  good  examples  of  these  value 
systems  among  animals.  But  it  is  believed  or  assumed  that  animals 
do  not  yet  possess  self-awareness.  We  do  not  know  this,  and  we  cannot 
judge  it;  but  we  must  assume  it,  because  there  is  no  evidence  of  self- 

Sutherland:  What  do  you  mean  by  "self-awareness"? 

Veith:  Giving  expression  to  self-consciousness.  In  man,  as  we  all 
know,  there  is  self-consciousness.  And  what  sets  man  apart  from 
animals  more  than  any  other  single  quahty  is  the  ability  to  use  Ian- 

ALL  THINGS  CONSIDERED     •     267 

guage.  This  step  was  one  of  those  breakthroughs  to  which  Sir  Julian 
referred  earlier.  It  is  one  of  the  tremendously  important  steps  that  set 
one  group  apart  from  another. 

One  point  that  was  touched  on  by  Panel  Four  but  not  discussed  in 
much  detail  is  the  appearance  of  maladaptation.  Did  maladaptation 
set  in  with  the  beginning  of  language?  How  is  it  evident  in  animals? 
What  do  animals  do  in  case  of  maladaptation? 

Huxley:  Maladaptation  is  evident  when  either  natural  or  psycho- 
logical selection  steps  in  to  try  to  correct  it,  isn't  it?  I  think  there  are 
many  instances  of  maladaptation,  both  physical  and  mental,  in  lower 

Veith:  I  was  particularly  interested  in  mental  maladaptation. 

Huxley:  That  was  one  of  the  points  that  did  not  emerge  very 
clearly,  but  Tinbergen  did  bring  out  a  little  about  it.  A  great  deal  of 
animal  behavior — lor  instance,  the  courtship  behavior  of  birds — is 
the  result  of  conflict — if  you  like  to  call  it  so — between  two  different 
impulses:  the  impulse  to  attack  and  drive  away  the  opposite  sex,  and 
an  impulse  to  approach  or  to  run  away,  and  so  on.  There  is  a  con- 
flict, but  it  is  resolved  in  the  behavior. 

Veith:  Tinbergen  gave  another  example  of  maladaptation  in  an 
animal  group,  where  other  animals  attempted  to  bring  the  maladapted 
individual  back  into  the  fold. 

Huxley:  I  was  glad  that  the  title  "Evolution  of  Mind"  was  used 
for  Panel  Four.  After  all,  Darwin  himself,  who  really  started  the  com- 
parative study  of  mind  and  so  of  modern  ethology,  frankly  recognized 
the  existence  of  mental  (subjective)  functions  by  calling  his  book  The 
Expression  of  the  Emotions  in  Man  and  Animals.  I  think  Panel  Four 
brought  out,  first,  that  one  must  not  shy  away  from  using  the  term 
"mind,"  because  it  is  not  only  perfectly  justifiable  but  scientifically 
necessary  to  extrapolate  mind  downward  from  man  into  animals. 
Second,  that  mind  emerged  during  biological  evolution  and  that,  since 
all  new  phenomena  in  biological  evolution  appear  to  be  the  result  of 
natural  selection,  which  works  by  differential  advantage,  the  mental 
or  subjective  aspect  of  behavior  must  therefore  have  some  biological 
advantage  or  value.  And  a  third  point  that  emerged  was  that  mental 
phenomena  in  animals  can  be  just  as  unlike  mental  phenomena  in 
man  as  many  physical  structures  in  animals  are  unlike  those  in  man. 
Language  among  bees,  for  instance,  depends  on  sensitivity  to  the 
plane  of  polarized  fight  and  on  an  ability  to  appreciate  the  significance 
of  dances.  Again,  the  extraordinary  phenomenon  of  imprinting  does 
not  occur  in  man,  or  at  least  occurs  only  to  a  very  slight  degree. 

Veith:  I  was  particularly  interested  in  Tinbergen's  example  of  the 

268     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

titmice  in  England  which  started  opening  milk  bottles  by  pecking 
through  the  paper  tops  and  apparently  were  able  to  communicate 
to  each  other  the  message  that  this  could  be  done. 

Huxley:  Some  sort  of  imitation  was  involved — learning  by  follow- 
ing an  innovator — but  not  communication  in  the  strict  sense. 

Sutherland:  I  should  like  to  move  on  to  your  preoccupation  in 
this  field,  Dr.  Adams.  Where  does  the  anthropologist  abut  on  this? 

Adams:  I  think  there  are  suggestions  of  an  interesting  shift  in  the 
position  of  the  anthropologists  at  the  symposium.  The  initial  reaction 
of  at  least  some  of  us  was  one  of  uncertainty  about  finding  anything 
in  common  to  talk  about  with  representatives  of  other  disciplines.  But 
a  whole  series  of  themes  emerged  that  I  am  sure  will  preoccupy  us  for 
a  long  time  to  come.  One  such  theme  was  the  element  of  continuity  in 
evolution.  As  man  evolves,  he  superadds  culture  to  his  genetic  equip- 
ment, and  by  this  new  addition  he  is  enabled  to  adapt  in  a  whole  series 
of  much  more  effective  and  complex  ways — to  spread  himself  over 
the  entire  globe,  to  construct  very  complex  societies,  and,  in  fact,  fre- 
quently to  direct  the  evolution  of  species  all  around  him.  Human  so- 
cieties are  adaptive  mechanisms;  they  have  to  be  understood  as  having 
an  evolutionary  role  rather  than  as  uniquely  human  creations  that  are 
not  to  be  compared  with  the  evolutionary  development  of  other  or- 

Two  other  themes  were  very  insistently  brought  in  upon  those  of 
us  who  are  anthropologists.  One  is  that  evolutionists  deal  not  with 
events  but  with  processes.  This  is  a  term  we  shall  have  to  rely  upon 
much  more;  it  reorients  the  whole  basis  of  inquiry,  in  a  direction  in 
which  we  can  do  much  more  productive  work.  Second — and  this  is 
most  important  to  me — the  importance  throughout  biology  of  the  no- 
tion of  adaptive  radiation,  characterizing  successive  grades  of  de- 
velopment, is  directly  applicable  to  the  materials  with  which  an  an- 
thropologist deals,  beginning  with  men  living  in  caves  and  small  groups 
and  moving  on  through  sedentary  villages  to  full-scale  civilizations. 
We  have  usually  been  too  preoccupied  with  our  more  limited  fields  of 
individual  concern  to  see  that  a  cumulative  progression  achieved  in 
disjunctive  steps  is  fundamental.  Perhaps,  for  this  reason,  we  have 
sometimes  failed  to  recognize  our  common  links  with  our  colleagues 
who  are  evolutionary  biologists. 

Huxley:  Exactly  the  same  thing  happened  in  biology.  People  were 
so  preoccupied  with  this  or  that  particular  problem  that  it  was  really 
only  with  the  reconciUation  of  Mendelism  with  natural  selection  in 
the  last  twenty-five  years  that  biologists  have  begun  thinking  in  broad 
evolutionary  terms. 

ALL  THINGS  CONSIDERED      ■     269 

Sutherland:  What  areas  do  you  think  it  would  be  best  to  pursue 
now — what  seems  the  most  rewarding  line  in  each  of  your  fields? 

Veith:  In  my  field,  perhaps  the  most  rewarding  line  would  be  to 
find  those  moments  or  those  evolutionary  processes  that  will  present 
weaknesses,  where  maladaptation  will  occur,  and  where  the  mind  will 
not  continue  to  function  in  its  normal  manner. 

Huxley:  I  am  sorry  you  wish  to  concentrate  on  maladaptation.  I 
should  think  it  would  be  much  better  to  concentrate  on  adaptation 
from  the  positive  angle. 

Veith:  But  maladaptation  has  been  studied  much  less. 

Huxley:  If  I  might  jump  over  the  fence  into  a  field  that  is  not  my 
own,  I  think  that  major  progress  will  come  in  applying  evolutionary 
ideas  to  man,  and  doing  so  in  the  broadest  terms — realizing  that  man 
is  an  extremely  peculiar  organism,  with  the  cumulative  transmission 
of  experience  as  the  basis  for  his  evolution,  and  that,  whether  he  wants 
it  or  not,  he  is  the  agent  for  the  whole  future  of  this  planet. 

Adams:  It  is  not  enough  to  maintain  our  old  disciphnary  boundaries 
— in  my  own  case,  to  carry  on  a  traditional  kind  of  archeological  re- 
search— and  merely  to  guide  this  with  some  new  principles  obtained 
from  wider  fields.  What  is  really  called  for  is  the  bringing  into  play  of 
a  whole  series  of  disciplines,  which  can  interact  and  can  construct  a 
new,  broadly  synthetic  approach  that  makes  it  possible  to  use  these 

Huxley:  That  came  out  very  clearly  in  the  two  ideas  that  to  me 
were  the  most  important  novelties  in  the  whole  Centennial.  One  was 
MuUer's  point  that  in  the  early  stages  of  the  development  of  modern 
man — when  he  was  really  struggling  with  nature — natural  selection 
and  social  selection  were  synergistic  and  would  have  worked  hand-in- 
hand  to  encourage  each  other.  IntelHgence  would  have  been  at  a 
premium,  so  we  would  have  had  genetic  selection  for  better  intelli- 
gence, and  this  would  have  reacted  on  the  social  system.  But  as  you 
come  to  the  great  mass  civilizations,  the  process  probably  works  the 
other  way  round  and  is  dysgenic.  The  essential  point  scientifically  is 
that  we  can  study  interrelation  of  the  purely  biological  and  the  social 
components  in  psychosocial  evolution. 

The  other  point  was  the  one  Waddington  threw  into  Panel  Three: 
the  idea  that  man  is  equipped  with  some  sort  of  built-in  mechanism 
for  accepting  what  he  is  told  when  he  is  very  young;  he  has  to,  be- 
cause he  is  helpless  as  a  baby  and  is  not  provided  with  a  set  of  adap- 
tive instincts.  Of  course,  unquaHfied  acceptance  of  authority  has  to 
be  corrected  in  later  life  through  learning.  When  Waddington  put  this 
idea  to  me  in  conversation  before  the  panel,  I  said  I  was  feeling  just 

270     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

like  my  grandfather  when  he  read  Darwin's  Origin  of  Species  and  said, 
"How  extremely  stupid  of  me  never  to  have  thought  of  that."  This  is 
a  very  fundamental  point,  which  has  to  be  worked  out  in  all  its  im- 



When  Charles  Darwin  and  T.  H.  Huxley  were  members  of  the  Royal 
Anthropological  Institute,  scholars  generally  believed  that  human  cul- 
ture and  society  had  evolved  to  their  current  states,  leaving  savages 
!  and  barbarians  as  relics  of  bygone  stages.  But  they  also  beheved  that 
i  these  primitive  peoples  could  progress  rapidly  to  the  higher  stages — 
I  especially  with  the  help  of  Europeans.  Neither  fish  nor  fowl  nor  reptile 
I  could  become  mammahan,  regardless  of  nurturing;  but  "Stone  Age" 
aborigines  could  become  calico-wearing  Christians.  Differences  among 
peoples  were  considered  evolutionary,  in  other  words,  but  not  "or- 

It  is  obvious  that  man,  in  many  places,  has  passed  through  stages  of 
tribal  hunting  and  village-tillage  to  achieve  large  societies  with  cities 
and  writing.  Some  surviving  cultures  remind  us  of  obviously  prehistoric 
stages,  but  they  are  regarded  as  developmental  varieties  rather  than  as 
living  fossils.  Not  only  is  it  now  clear  that  all  peoples  known  to  us  in 
historic  tunes  are  equally  human,  but  the  notion  that  different  cultures 
might  be  ranged  on  an  evolutionary  scale  has  also  been  largely  aban- 
doned. The  differences  among  peoples  are  neither  evolutionary  nor 

The  complete  separation  in  the  twentieth  century  of  man  as  an  or- 
ganism from  man  as  a  member  of  society  and  bearer  of  culture  has 
resolved  the  common  confusion  between  race  and  culture.  Hitler's  dis- 
astrous mythology  was  one  culmination  of  a  general  belief  that  Euro- 
peans are  more  effective  than  Asians  or  Africans  as  builders  of  civiliza- 
tions, and  Nordics  are  more  so  than  Mediterraneans  or  Alpines.  The 
data  of  anthropology  squarely  contradicted  the  claims  of  the  racists. 
Cultural  achievements  of  populations  were  shown  to  have  cultural 
causes,  essentially  independent  of  the  genetics  of  the  populations  de- 
veloping or  carrying  them.  So  culture  and  cultural  history  could  be 
treated  apart  from  the  organism,  as  both  cultural  historians  (e.g.,  Fro- 
benius)  and  evolutionists  (e.g.,  Spencer)  had  long  known.  Culture, 
the  primarily  human  contribution  to  biology,  is  "superorganic"  and 
quite  independent  of  "blood"  or  "race."  A  generation  of  students  grew 


272     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

up  convinced  that  biological  and  cultural  anthropology  needed  each 
other  mainly  to  demonstrate  the  limitations  of  the  biological  in  man. 
Since  the  two  branches  were  also  specializing,  becoming  too  extensive 
together  for  any  one  scholar,  cultural  anthropology  and  physical  an- 
thropology have  tended  to  draw  apart  from  each  other. 

So  we  come  to  a  science  which  proclaims  itself  "the  study  of  man," 
yet  views  culture  as  though  it  were  not  part  of  man;  which  studies  the 
evolutionary  process  and  traces  the  origin  of  man  through  the  fossil 
record,  yet  steadfastly  separates  man  from  all  other  animals;  which 
generally  denies  social  and  cultural  evolution,  yet  uses  the  word  "primi- 
tive"— apologetically — for  most  of  the  living  peoples  and  cultures  it 

This  was  the  split  personality  of  the  science  when,  one  evening  in 
1 955, 1  sat  in  the  library  of  the  Wenner-Gren  Foundation  in  New  York 
City.  It  was  a  Friday  evening  "supper  conference"  at  which  William  W. 
Howells  of  Harvard  was  talking  about  physical  anthropology.  I  was 
there  because  I  had  other  business  in  New  York,  because  I  like  con- 
ferences, and  because  I  like  anthropologists  of  all  specializations.  As 
editor  of  the  American  Anthropologist,  I  had  a  good  excuse  to  indulge 
myself,  but  actually  my  thoughts  had  drifted  away  from  Dr.  Howells' 
paper.  He  had  mentioned  Darwin's  Origin  of  Species,  which  started  me 
musing.  In  another  four  years  that  book  would  be  a  hundred  years  old, 
I  remember  thinking.  Somebody  would  be  organizing  a  celebration  for 
the  occasion.  Why  should  not  anthropology  be  center  stage?  An  ency- 
clopedia nearby  revealed  that  the  exact  date  was  November  24,  a  good 
season  in  the  academic  world,  since  the  school  year  is  well  underway 
and  the  holidays  have  not  yet  begun. 

My  train  of  thought  carried  me  home  to  Chicago.  What  institution 
in  this  country  was  better  suited  to  celebrate  the  centenary  than  the 
University  of  Chicago,  born  ten  years  after  Darwin's  death,  far  away — 
a  celebration  on  behalf  of  the  whole  world?  No  personal  interest; 
purely  intellectual  and  scientific.  I  promptly  began  writing  letters  and 
talking  to  people:  the  president  of  the  American  Anthropological 
Association  (little  knowing  that  I  would  be  serving  my  own  term  as 
president  during  the  Centennial  year!),  the  Dean,  the  Chancellor, 
biologist  friends,  a  widening  circle  of  enthusiastic  advisors. 

But  surely  others  must  be  having  this  idea,  too,  I  thought.  One  way 
to  find  out:  Write  to  Julian  Huxley  and  Sir  Charles  Darwin,  telUng 
them  of  our  Celebration  and  inviting  them  to  come.  They  might  tell 
us  that  they  would  be  similarly  involved  in  England,  and  we  would 
graciously  give  way  and  not  compete.  But  again,  they  might  not,  and 
we  would  have  some  sort  of  priority.  Sir  Charles,  a  renowned  physicist, 
stopped  to  visit  us  in  Chicago  the  following  March  (on  his  way  to  Aus- 
tralia) and  asked  in  some  puzzlement,  "Why  particularly  the  Univer- 


sity  of  Chicago?"  When,  in  September,  we  met  with  Zoologist  JuUan 
Huxley  (he  was  knighted  in  the  next  New  Year's  list)  he  did  not  need 
to  ask,  being  well  acquainted  with  the  historic  pre-eminence  of  our 
Department  of  Zoology. 

The  real  mystery  is  why  others  did  not  pre-empt  the  opportunity  of 
celebrating  the  publication  event  of  the  century.  In  England  celebra- 
tions were  planned,  appropriately,  for  the  1958  Centenary  of  the  read- 
ing of  the  Darwin-Wallace  papers  before  the  Linnaean  Society.  The 
centennial  of  Darwinism  was,  in  fact,  celebrated  in  many  quarters,  but 
November  24,  1959 — the  one-hundredth  anniversary  of  publication  of 
Origin  of  Species — was  left  to  the  University  of  Chicago. 
I  Anyone  who  has  organized  or  managed  an  event  of  these  propor- 
tions knows  of  the  heart-breaking  troubles  we  had  over  the  years,  the 
mounting  excitement  as  the  machinery  gets  into  motion,  the  obstacles, 
satisfactions,  and  unforeseen  frustrations  encountered.  Whether  I 
wanted  to  be  Chairman  of  the  Celebration  Committee  I  cannot  tell; 
but  nobody  else  would  take  on  the  job  and  I  have  never  been  able  to 
resist  trouble.  But  I  did  not  expect  the  sudden  death  through  snakebite 
of  Karl  Schmitt,  who  had  been  the  perfect  choice  to  invite  and  work 
with  the  biological  scientists;  I  did  not  anticipate  that  leukemia  would 
sap  the  strength  and  then  take  the  life  of  Robert  Redfield,  who  had 
been  my  mentor  in  anthropology.  When  S.  L.  Washburn  left  the  Uni- 
versity, I  was  the  only  anthropologist  left  on  our  Committee,  with 
Alfred  Emerson  in  zoology,  Everett  Olson  in  paleontology,  Chauncy 
Harris  in  geography,  and  Ilza  Veith  in  history  of  medicine.  Later 
Zoologist  Burr  Steinbach  joined  the  group. 

As  the  papers  began  coming  in  and  correspondence  piled  up,  in- 
I  creasing  demands  were  made  of  the  Committee.  As  Chairman  I  was 
heavily  dependent  on  the  others  while  sharing  their  responsibility.  I  did 
not  know  the  eminent  zoologists,  botanists,  psychologists,  physicians, 
biochemists,  and  others  who  had  been  invited.  I  did  not  know  their 
work  nor  how  it  related  to  evolution.  People  assumed  that  I  knew 
much  more  than  I  did,  and  like  a  physician  in  a  difficult  case  I  had  to 
exude  confidence  while  trying  frantically  to  learn.  I  told  myself  that, 
with  so  great  a  range  of  subject  matter,  nobody  could  be  expected  to  be 
omniscient,  but  when  a  subjective  judgement  had  to  be  made,  how  I 
hated  my  ignorance! 

One  of  my  most  encouraging  moments  came  when  a  knowledgeable 
outsider,  who  had  been  reading  the  papers  as  they  came  in,  told  me 
that  he  thought  they  were  remarkably  creative,  the  best  such  collection 
he  had  ever  seen.  This  changed  things  in  some  subtle  way;  the  amateur 
gardener  who  misreads  all  the  directions  and  works  so  hard  m  igno- 
rance that  he  sees  nothing  but  the  weeds  is  told  by  an  old  hand  that 
he  has  the  best  perennial  garden  in  the  neighborhood! 

274     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

In  reality  this  praise  from  our  reader  may  have  served  most  by  eas- 
ing my  guilty  conscience,  for  I  was  not  putting  as  much  time  and 
energy  into  the  planning  as  I  had  originally  intended.  Partly  by  chance, 
but  largely  by  my  own  improvidence,  I  became  involved  in  a  number 
of  long-term  projects  during  the  years  immediately  preceding  the  Cen- 
tennial. I  was  Chairman  of  the  Department  at  the  University;  program 
chanman  for  the  1957  American  Anthropological  Association  meet- 
ings held  in  Chicago;  and  (taking  effect  at  that  convention)  President- 
elect and  then  President  of  the  Association.  Perhaps  most  improbable 
of  all,  I  was  at  the  same  time  engaged  in  founding  the  new  journal 
Current  Anthropology.  It  was  to  have  world-wide  scope,  keeping  an- 
thropologists everywhere  informed  of  the  latest  advances;  therefore,  I 
spent  the  first  half  of  1959,  the  Centennial  year,  on  three  journeys  to 
five  continents  to  determine  what  the  new  journal  must  include.  We 
put  the  first  issue  of  Current  Anthropology  in  the  mails  on  the  very 
eve  of  the  Celebration. 

Had  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration  been  a  miserable  failure,  I 
could  have  taken  full  blame.  Since  it  all  turned  out  so  well,  I  must  look 
elsewhere  to  bestow  credit.  Clearly  at  least  three  sets  of  angels  were 
involved:  (1)  the  Celebration  Committee  and  the  scientists  they  se- 
lected; (2)  the  staff  that  handled  the  multiple  details  in  blissful  ig- 
norance that  they  were  doing  the  impossible;  and  (3)  Charles  Darwin 
himself  and  the  genuine  importance  of  the  concept  of  evolution.  j 

In  choosing  the  participants,  the  Committee  must  have  been  extraor-  I 
dinarily  wise.  There  were  many  good  people  we  missed,  but  we  made 
almost  no  positive  mistakes.  Almost  all  the  papers  were  first-rate,  and 
as  each  was  distributed  it  seemed  to  inspire  others.  Or  was  it  the  oc- 
casion that  encouraged  each  to  do  an  especially  important  piece  of' 
work?  The  quality  of  the  participants  must  account  for  the  response : 
in  advance  to  the  Celebration — the  response  of  foundations  to  our 
requests  for  money;  the  response  to  invitations  to  come  to  Chicago  for 
the  Celebration.  The  quality  of  the  papers  gave  confidence  to  the  par- 
ticipants and  to  the  Committee,  so  that  many  arrived  early  to  devote  as  i 
much  as  a  week  to  preparing  for  the  panel  discussions.  Sir  Julian  Hux-  ■ 
ley  and  Alfred  L.  Kroeber  had  been  in  residence  at  the  University  dur- 
ing the  final  quarter  of  1959;  along  with  Committee  members  and  I 
other  participants,  they  had  participated  in  seminar  groups  of  faculty 
and  graduate  students,  aimed  at  proposing  issues  for  discussion,  from  i 
which  the  various  panels  might  select  their  final  agendas  during  their 
pre-Celebration  briefing  sessions. 

In  retrospect  it  seems  as  though  those  panel  discussions  should  have 
terrified  us,  like  dangerous  and  unpredictable  firecrackers.  Bring  to- 
gether highly  individualistic  scholars  chosen  for  scientific  ability,  andl 
give  them  problems  for  discussion  that  go  beyond  the  specialties  ini 



which  any  of  them  feel  comfortable.  Let  them  group  themselves 
"blind"  into  panels,  regardless  of  personahty;  give  them  about  thirty 
hours  to  become  acquainted,  some  having  met  for  the  first  time.  During 
that  period  ask  them  to  agree  on  topics  for  discussion,  but  not  on  the 
answers,  of  course.  Then  put  them  on  a  stage,  bright  with  klieg  lights, 
before  large,  eager  audiences  of  critical  people.  By  all  rights,  the  fire- 
cracker should  have  exploded  in  our  faces,  or,  worse,  simply  fizzed  out; 
but  panel  after  panel — day  after  day — the  atmosphere  remained  elec- 
tric, the  discussion  sparkled. 

The  Celebration  was  the  Panel  Discussions;  the  panels  were  partici- 
pants; the  participants  were  great  scientists  who  did  what  no  great 
scientist  should  be  expected  to  do.  The  Celebration  was  good  because, 
from  beginning  to  end,  the  Committee  and  those  they  had  chosen  did 
so  well. 

The  remarkable  staff  that  brought  off  the  Celebration  was  fortu- 
nately inexperienced  in  a  project  of  such  magnitude:  hence  we  could 
agree  happily  to  do  things  that  experienced  people  would  have  dis- 
missed as  impracticable.  We  started  out  by  generously  inviting  the 
whole  world.  Acutely  aware  of  the  limitations  of  our  facilities,  we 
decided  to  protect  ourselves  by  an  elaborate  advance  registration  sys- 
tem, taking  into  account  every  event  listed  in  the  program.  The  num- 
ber and  variety  of  the  events,  plus  the  fact  that  some  were  free,  some 
paid,  with  special  rates  to  certain  groups,  made  for  bookkeeping  that 
would  have  staggered  imaginations  which  we  fortunately  did  not  have. 

A  resolution  to  the  ticket  problem  was  a  universal  ticket,  covering 
all  events,  a  sample  of  which  is  shown  here: 

•si     2  >ii« 
«  I      «g  I  ■§  8 

A    I  Ul  ■•    ^ 

.c  ! 

2       2  »-<'^ 

•^  M      °   *<>    S 

c  1         lu        ^  ^ 

Film  Preview 

"The  Ladder 

of  life" 

Nov.  25 
Mandel  Hall 
2:45  P.M. 


Nov.  24 

Mandel  Hall 

1:30  ?M. 


Nov.  25 
Mandel  Hall 
9:45  A.M. 


Nov.  26 
Mandel  Hall 
9:45  AM. 


Nov.  27 
Mandel  Hall 
9:45  A.M. 

University  of  Chicago     Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 

NOVEMBER  24  to  28,   1959 


This  ticket  will  admit  the  bearer  to  the  events  listed. 
Admission  to  all  events  is  by  ticket  only. 
Seats  will  be  reserved  only  until  time  shown. 

Udara  by 
L.  S.  B.  Leakey 

Nov.  25 

Mandel  Hail 

3:30  P.M. 

Centennial  Dinner 

Nov.  24 

Hutchinson  Commons 

6:00  P.M. 

Program  In  Mandel  Hall  following 

dinner:  8:30  P.M. 



Nov.  26 
6:00  P.M. 


Nov.  28 
Mandel  Hall 
9:45  A.M. 

5  «  <  — <  2 

?  5*2:9 


-?  M 



276     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

When  it  came  to  seating  the  2,500  registrants,  we  were  determined 
to  allot  the  1,000  seats  available  in  Mandel  Hall,  our  largest  audi- 
torium, with  due  consideration  for  each  individual.  Each  was  to  have  a 
seat  in  Mandel  for  two  or  three  of  the  five  panels,  with  seats  elsewhere, 
in  halls  with  sound  equipment,  for  the  remaimng  sessions.  Each  regis- 



Movember  2h-2o.  1959 

To:     Registrants 

From:     Sol  Tax 

In  this  envelope  you  sJiould  find  your  tickets,  program,  name  badge,  and 
booklet  of  abstracts  of  the  papers  prepared  for  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 
discussions.  Some  of  these  items  need  explanation  beyond  that  in  the  program. 

Of  nearly  3,000  who  have  wished  to  register,  we  have  had  to  turn  away  one 
third.  Even  so,  our  space  and  facilities  are  being  over-taxed.  To  be  fair  to 
all  and  to  protect  tine  comfort  and  sanity  of  everybody  concerned,  we  have  had  to 
set  up  an  elaborate  prdceedure  which  (if  it  works)  will  be  amusing  to  watch. 

The  problem  is  mainly  with  the  five  panel  discussions.  Leon  Mandel  Hall  is 
the  only  appropriate  auditorium  on  campus  and  it  holds  only  a  thousand  people, 
(Prospective  donors  of  a  larger  hall  are  referred  to  the  Development  Office) 
Registrants  have  registered  for  different  panels;  but  even  so,  from  1,700  to 
1,000  want  to  get  into  each  one. 

I     The  large  white  ticket  is  your  identification  card.   It  is  num- 
j  bered  to  correspond  to  the  entry  of  your  registration  in  our  books. 
I  If  you  registered  for  more  than  one  ticket  and  gave  only  one  name, 
;  all  your  tickets  have  the  same  number.  This  ticket  has  on  it  all 
the  events  except  the  musical  show  "Time  Will  Tell".   If  you  did 
not  rej:.e3t  tickets  for  an  event,  that  event  has  been  voided  on 
your  ticket.  Additional  tickets  for  "Time  Will  Tell"  are  available 
'  at  the  Mandel  Hall  Box  Office. 

V/e  wanted  to  be  fair  to  everyone  and  we  knew  that  not  everyone  would  be  equally 
interested  in  every  panel.  Therefore  we  set  up  two  auxiliary  halls  —  Breasted 
Lecture  Hall  in  the  Oriental  Institute  and  the  auditorium  in  Kent  Hall  --  where 
the  panels  can  be  heard  but  not  seen.  We  then  went  through  our  registrants  and 
seated  each  one  individually  according  to  his  interests.  \7e  gave  you  a  seat  in 
Handel  Hall  for  those  panels  which  we  thought  you  were  most  interested  in,  a  seat 
in  Breasted  or  Kent  for  panels  of  marginal  Interest.  This  is  marked  on  your 
tickets  in  the  following  manner: 

Mothing  punched  out  =  a  seat  in  Mandel  Hall 

A  ^   punched  out  =  a  seat  in  Breasted  Hall 

A.  O   punched  out  =  a  seat  in  Kent  Hall 

Scats  In  Mandel  Hall  will  be  held  only  until  time  shown  on  the  ticket;  THEM,  any- 
one holding  a  ticket  marked  for  Breasted  Hall  (a  ^  punch)  will  be  allowed  into 
Mandel  to  fill  the  vacant  seats.   If  you  hold  a  ticket  for  Breasted  Hall,  you 
should  therefore  join  the  stand-by  line  along  the  east  wall  of  the  Mandel  cor- 
ridor.  If  you  don't  get  into  Mandel,  you  will  have  5  or  10  minutes  to  get  to 
Breasted  where  a  seat  will  await  you. 


trant's  scholarly  discipline,  the  distance  he  had  traveled,  the  days  he 
would  be  attending,  and  so  on  were  reviewed  in  deciding  those  panels 
most  likely  to  interest  him.  To  attempt  such  individual  seating  in  the 
hurry  and  dash  of  last  minute  preparations  was  clearly  ridiculous,  but 
again  we  did  not  realize  this. 

The  scope  of  the  registration  problems  and  how  the  Celebration  staff 
dealt  with  them  may  be  presented  to  the  interested  reader  most  graphi- 
cally by  reprinting  here  a  copy  of  the  instructions  to  registrants.  An 
air  of  amused  appreciation  pervaded  the  halls  as  the  visitors  went 
through  the  complicated  contents  of  the  large  manila  envelope  that 
each  was  given. 

Holders  of  seats  in  Handel  must  get  tliere  before  the  time  shown  on  the 
ticket  or  their  seats  will  be  taken  by  those  from  the  stand-by  line.   If  you  hold 
a  seat  in  Handel  and  are  late,  there  will  be  room  for  you  in  Breasted. 

If  you  hold  a  seat  in  Kent  Hall  (a  O   punch),  you  cannot  get  into  Mandel 
no  matter  what;  do  not  "stand-by"  but  go  directly  to  Kent  Hall. 

i  Centennial  or  Thanksgiving  Dinner;  j 

j     If  you  have  a  ticket  for  the  dinner,  stop  at  the  "seating  desk"    j 

in  tlie  Reynold's  Club  as  soon  as  possible  to  reserve  your  place.  V/e 
!  assume  that  friends  will  want  to  make  up  parties.  Since  there  will' 
I  be  no  speeches  in  the  dining  hall,  the  location  of  your  table  Is  not 
I  important. 

Both  dinners  are  sold  out  to  capacity;  but  you  may  add  your  name 
I  to  a  waiting  list  at  the  seating  desk  in  case  of  cancellations. 


Tuesday  Evening 

On  Tuesday  evening  the  entire  first  floor  (300  seats)  of  Mandel  Hall  is  re- 
served for  those  attending  the  Centennial  Dinner.  Any  other  ticket  holders  may 
come  to  the  program,  to  the  limit  of  the  balcony. 

V/ednesday  Afternoon 

l«lote  that  your  ticket  is  valid  for  the  two  V/ednesday  afternoon  events  ~  the 
lecture  by  Dr.  Leakey  and  the  film  "The  Ladder  of  Life".   In  each  case  only  Man- 
del  Hall  will  be  used,  only  registrants  may  attend,  and  first  come,  first  served. 
(Participants  in  the  National  Conference  will  have  seats  reserved  for  Dr.  Leakey's 
lecture  because  their  conference  keeps  them  from  the  film.) 

Mame  Badges 

The  name  badges  of  special  groups  have  been  color  coded  as  follows: 

Buff  for  volunteer  student  workers 

Blue  for  Participants  and  Darwin  Centennial  Committee  members 

Yellov;  for  the  Society  for  tiie  Study  of  Evolution 

Red  for  The  Institute  for  High  School  Biology  Teachers 

Salmon  for  the  University  of  Chicago  Faculty 

Green  for  official  delegates 

278     •     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

Among  the  contents  of  the  registrant's  envelope  was  a  64-page  book- 
let of  summaries  of  the  Centennial  papers.  These  45  essays,  written  in 
advance  and  exchanged  among  the  participants,  were  not  to  be  read  at 
the  Celebration  itself.  To  acquaint  the  audiences  with  the  material, 
and  hence  help  them  appreciate  the  discussions,  it  was  decided  to 
summarize  the  papers  in  the  form  of  a  booklet.  But  who  was  to  do  the 
abstracting?  Charles  Callender,  the  Conference  Director,  was  a  logical 
choice,  but  he  had  been  unable  to  begin  the  summaries  until  shortly 
before  the  deadline.  Alfred  L.  Kroeber  took  responsibility  for  all  the 
anthropological  papers,  and  several  others  were  done  by  a  young  biolo- 
gist, David  Ingle.  A  neighborhood  letter  service  agreed  to  work  day 
and  night  to  print  the  booklets  before  the  Celebration  and  deliver  them 
to  my  home,  where  we  were  also  working  day  and  night.  They  actually 
did  the  job,  and  delivered  them  as  promised,  but  then  someone  dis- 
covered that  the  pages  were  out  of  order  so  that  they  could  not  be  fol- 
lowed. A  moment  of  panic,  and  then  the  solution,  an  errata  sheet,  as 

Nine  Pages  That  Shook  the  Editor 

When  you  come  to  the  end  of  Page  34,  turn 
to  Page  39.  Read  through  Page  43.  Then  turn 
back  to  Page  35  and  read  through  Page  38.  Then 

turn  to  Page  44  and  you  are  out  of  the  maze. 

All  through  that  last  frantic  weekend,  we  were  printing  tickets  and 
stuffing  envelopes,  with  as  many  helpers  as  we  could  find.  Registration 
began  Monday  morning,  and  at  8  a.m.  trucks  came  to  the  house  to  de- 
liver the  material  to  the  registration  room  barely  ahead  of  the  crowds. 

I  have  described  only  a  small  fraction  of  the  work  involved  in  pre- 
paring for  the  Celebration.  The  lesson  is  that  to  do  an  ordinary  job, 
have  experienced  people  who  will  follow  proved  routines  and  avoid 
"fooHsh"  things  which  would  be  good  to  do  if  they  were  practicable. 
But  if  there  is  an  extraordinary  task  to  be  done  unprecedentedly  well, 
get  creative,  intelligent,  and  devoted  people,  wholly  ignorant  of  all 
pitfalls  in  the  interesting  paths  they  will  choose. 

Who  were  these  people?  In  1958,  our  Committee  was  struggling 







FELLOW  OF  THE  KOVAL,  CFMUicli: \i..  LtNNM.AN.   1,1, 
AUTHOR  OF  »  JdUKNAL  OF  iU^KAECIlES  M'liLVf;  Jj .    M,    ,.    ,,,    , 
KOINP  TIIK  WOftl.!).' 




'»«  rigU  of  TramkUim  in  i-eterwd. 


for  the 

SOL  TAX,  Chairman,  Department  of  Anthropology 
ALFRED  E.  EMERSON,  Department  of  Zoology 
CHAUNCY  D.  HARRIS,  Department  of  Geography 
EVERETT  C.  OLSON,  Department  of  Geology 
H.  BURR  STEINB  ACH,  Department  of  Zoology 
ILZA  VEITH,  Department  of  Medicine 

CHARLES  CALLENDER,  Conference  Director 
MARIE-ANNE  HONEYWELL,  Conference  Secretary 
JEAN  DAMES  and  ROSE  WEINER,  Assistants 
ROCHELLE  DUBNO  W,  Director  of  volunteer  work  by  students 
MARIANNA  TAX,  Assistant 


RICHARD  BOYAJIAN,  University  High  School  JOHN  C.  MAYFIELD,  the  College 

Director  of  the  Institute  Director  of  the  National  Conference 

Committee:  G.  ERNST  GIESECKE  and  D.  BOB  GOWIN,  Graduate  School  of  Education; 
BARBARA  F.  FALSER,  Department  of  Botany;  HEWSON  H.  SWIFT,  Department  of  Zoology. 






NOVEMBER  24-28,  1959 

Joining  the  Uniuersity  in  sponsoring  the  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 

are  the  National  Science  Foundation,  the  Wenner-Gren  Foundation  for  Anthropological  Research, 

and  the  National  Institutes  of  Health.  The  first  two  have  contributed  transportation  and  living  expenses 

for  the  participants;  the  third,  costs  of  the  panel  discussions. 

Sol  Tax 



1:30  P.M. 

Sol  Tax 

2:00  P.M. 


Panel  Discussion 

Chairmen:  Harlow  Shapley  and  Hans  Gaffron 

earl  a.  EVANS,  JR. 
G.  F.  GAUSE 




6:  00  P.M. 


Presiding:  Chauncy  D.  Harris, 

Dean,  Division  of  Social  Sciences 

The  Citizens  Board  of  the  University  of  Chicago  will  join 
the  after-dinner  program.  Other  registrants  are 
invited  to  the  limit  of  seating  capacity. 

8:30  P.M. 


Lawrence  A.  Kimpton,  Chancellor,  University  of  Chicago 

Sol  Tax 

Sir  Charles  Galton  Darwin 

Sir  Charles  Darwin 

Panel  One 

The  audience  in  Mandel  Hall 

4  crowd  at  intermission 



9:45  A.M. 


Panel  Discussion 

Chairmen:  Sir  Jullan  Huxley  and  Alfred  E.  Emerson 

E.  B.  FORD 


2:45  P.M. 

L.  S.  B.  Leakey 


Advance  showing  of  a  film  on  "evolution  in  action" 
Prepared  by  the  Columbia  Broadcasting  System 
for  broadcast  on  CONQUEST  November  29 

3:30  P.M. 


Illustrated  Lecture 


L.  S.  B.  Leakey 


University  of  Chicago  Library  Exhibit.  The  history  of  evolutionary  theory  and  the  influence  of  Dar- 
win s  writings  on  social  thought  and  theology  are  shown  in  a  book  exhibit  assembled  by  the  Depart- 
ment of  Special  CoUections  of  the  University  Library.  Among  the  books  on  display  from  the  Library's 
coUections  are  first  editions  of  seventeen  of  Darwin's  works,  including  the  Or.^in  ofSpedes,  presented 
totheUniversitybyCol.  William  M.Spencer  of  Chicago.  &      J    f       -  i' 

University  ofCalijornia  at  Los  Angeles  Exhrbit.  A  series  of  posters  loaned  by  the  University  of  Cali- 
fornia at  Los  Angeles  Biomedical  Library  illustrates  Darwin's  precursors,  his  life  and  work,  and  con- 
^^L^:;!^^^^  '^''^—^  ^-^^°P—  -  genetics,  embryology. 

Panel  Two 

Sight-seers  at  exhibits 



9:45  A.M. 


Panel  Discussion 

Chairmen:  George  Gaylord  Simpson  and  F.  Clark  Howell 

MARSTON  bates 

cesare  emiliani 

a.  irving  hallowell 

L.  S.  B.  LEAKEY 

3:00  P.M. 



Presiding:  Lawrence  A.  Kimpton,  Chancellor,  University  of  Chicago 

Convocation  Address: 


Sir  Julian  Huxley 

Awarding  of  Honorary  Degrees 
Immediately  following  the  recessional,  official  delegates  will  greet 
the  recipients  of  honorary  degrees  in  Ida  Noyes  Hall. 

6:00  p.m. 


Presiding:  Edgar  A.  Anderson,  President, 
Society  for  the  Study  of  Evolution 

Sir  Julian  Huxley 

8:30  P.M. 

A  scene  from  ''Time  Will  TeW 

An  original  musical  play 
written  for  the  Celebration 
by  Robert  A.  Ashenhurst 
and  Robert  Pollak 

opening  performance 


t  i  .1 

Panel  Three 

G.  G.  Simpson,  one  of  the  recipients  of  an  honorary  degree 

At  the  Convocation 



9:45    A.M. 



Panel  Discussion 

Chairmen:  Ralph  W.  Gerard  and  Ilza  Veith 




i:  30  p.M.-4:30  p.m. 


The  National  Conference  for  High  School  Biology  Teachers  brings  to  this  Institute 
teachers  from  all  over  the  United  States.  It  is  financed  by  a  grant  from  the  National 
Science  Foundation  as  a  means  of  widening  the  influence  of  the  Centennial  Cele- 
bration and  of  this  Institute. 

Panel  and  Discussion  Sections 
Chairman:  H.  Burr  Steinbach 





8:30  P.M. 

mandel   hall 




A  scene  from  "Time  Will  Tell" 

9:45  A.M. 



Panel  Discussion 

Chairmen:  Clyde  Kluckhohn  and  Alfred  L.  Kroeber 





Discussion  at  the  teachers'  institute 

Panel  Five 

^^W  o.TI 


NOVEMBER  28  (Conclusion) 

12:00   M. 

Sol  Tax 

1:30  P.M.-3  130  P.M. 
JUDD     HALL     126 


Lecture  and  Film 





Sir  Julian  Huxley 

1:30  p.M.-5:3o  P.M. 



Arranged  with  the  cooperation  of  the  Federated  Theological  Faculty 


Jaroslav  Pelikan,  Federated  Theological  Faculty 


The  Reverend  J.  Franklin  Ewing,  S.J.,  Fordham  University 

Panel  Discussion 


C/w/;m,7/;;  Jerald  C.  Brauer,  Federated  Theological  Faculty 

Harlow  Shapley  William  O'Meara,  Department  of  Philosod 

Sir  Charles  Galton  Darwin     H.  Burr  Steinbach 

C.  H.  Waddington  Leo  Strauss,  Department  of  Political  Science 

8:30  P.M. 



Huxley  addressing  teachers 

Jaroslov  Pelikan 

Panel  at  institute  on  science  and  theology 

Father  Ewing 

tin    't 



University  of  Chicago 

The  Evolutionary  Process  in  Early  Civilizations 

Missouri  Botanical  Garden 

The  Evolution  of  Domestication 

University  of  California,  Los  Angeles 
The  Evolution  of  Flowering  Plants 

University  of  Michigan 
Ecology  and  Evolution 

University  of  Bordeaux 

Evolution  in  the  Paleolithic  Cultures 


University  of  Chicago 

Levels  in  Prehistory:  A  Model  for  the  Consideration 
of  the  Evidence 

University  of  Pittsburgh 

Evolution  and  Understanding  Diseases  of  the  Mind 

MacDONALD  critchley 

National  Hospital,  London 

The  Evolution  of  Man's  Capacity  for  Language 


Can  Man  Control  His  Numbers? 

Columbia  University 

Evolution  and  Environment 

University  of  Chicago 

The  Evolution  of  Adaptation  in  Population  Systems 

University  of  Miami 

Dating  Human  Evolution 

University  of  Chicago 
Viruses  and  Evolution 


Wenner-Gren  Foundation  for  Anthropological 

Discussion  Participant 

E.  B.  FORD 

University  of  Oxford 
Evolution  in  Progress 


Uhiversity  of  Chicago 

The  Origin  of  Life 

Johns  Hopkins  University 
Pavlov  and  Darwin 

G.  F.  CAUSE 

U.S.S.R.  Academy  of  Medical  Sciences 

University  of  Michigan 

Becoming:  The  Residue  of  Change 

University  of  Pennsylvania 

Self  Society  and  Culture  in  Phylogenetic  Perspective 

University  of  Chicago 

Committee,  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 

Stanford  University 

Psychology  after  Darwin 

University  of  Chicago 

with  S.  L.  Washburn 

Human  Evolution  and  Culture 


The  Emergence  of  Darwinism 

Harvard  University 

Discussion  Participant 

University  of  California,  Berkeley 
Evolution,  History,  and  Culture 

L.  S.  B.  LEAKEY 

Coryndon  Memorial  Museum,  Nairobi,  Kenya 

*  Unable  to  attend  the  Celebration. 


University  of  California,  Los  Angeles 

Evolutionary  Concepts  oj  Brain  Function  Following 
Darwin  and  Spencer 

Harvard  University 

The  Emergence  of  Evolutionary  Novelties 


Indiana  University 

The  Guidance  of  Human  Evolution 

University  of  Berne 

A  Decisive  Step  in  Evolution:  Saltatory  Conduction 


Australian  Commonwealth  Scientific  and  Industrial 
Research  Organization,  Canberra 

The    Role    of  Population    Dynamics    in    Natural 



University  of  Chicago 

Morphology,  Paleontology,  and  Evolution 


University  of  Edinburgh 

Prehistory  and  Evolutionary  Theory 

University  of  Rotterdam 

Discussion  Participant 

University  of  Illinois 

Comparative  Physiology  in  Relation  to  Evolutionary 


University  of  Miinster 
The  Laws  of  Evolution 

Harvard  University 

On  the  Evidences  of  Inorganic  Evolution 


University  of  CaUtornia,  Davis 

The  Comparative  Evolution  of  Genetic  Systems 

University  of  Chicago 

Committee,  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 

University  of  Illinois 

Evolutionary  Principles  and  Social  Types 


University  of  Chicago 

Chairman,  Darwin  Centennial  Celebration 


University  of  Oxford 

Behaviour,  Systematics,  and  Natural  Selections 

University  of  Chicago 

Creation  and  Evolution  in  the  Far  Eiast 


University  of  Edinburgh 
Evolutionary  Adaptation 

University  of  CaUfornia,  Berkeley 

with  F.  Clark  Howell 

Human  Evolution  and  Culture 

Harvard  University 

Historical  Patterns  and  Evolution  in  Native  New 

World  Cultures 

University  of  Michigan 

Four  Stages  in  the  Evolution  of  Minding 

University  of  Wisconsin 

Physiological  Genetics,  Ecology  of  Populations  and 

Natural  Selection 

Harvard  University 
The  History  of  Life 

'  Unable  to  attend  the  Celebration. 

A  scene  during  the  television  broadcast,  "At  Random"  with 
(left  to  right)  Tax,  Darwin,  Huxley,  Stevenson,  Kupcinet, 
and  Shapley 


along  without  real  staff,  when  the  press  and  public  began  to  take  in- 
terest and  we  all  realized  that  "nothing  was  being  done"  about  pub- 
licity, invitations,  the  special  convocation,  the  Celebration  itself. 
Charles  Callender  was  a  recent  Ph.D.  of  our  Department  of  Anthro- 
pology with  some  experience  in  public  relations.  An  excellent  writer 
and  a  careful  scientist,  he  had  never  done  administration;  but  we  gave 
him  the  title  of  Conference  Director  and  he  went  to  work. 

In  February  of  1959  I  returned  from  Asia  for  a  two-month  furlough 
between  conference  trips  for  Current  Anthropology.  My  assistant  edi- 
tor, Malcolm  Collier  (who  had  also  helped  in  the  first  months  of  the 
Darwin  Committee),  produced  for  me  an  applicant  for  a  position  as  a 
secretary  who  could  keep  straight  my  very  tangled  affairs.  Marie-Anne 
Honeywell  is  an  M.A.  in  the  humanities  who  was  doing  unchallenging 
office  work  (while  her  husband  gets  his  doctorate),  and  was  happy  to 
see  such  a  tangle.  A  granddaughter  of  a  Nobel  prize-winning  chemist, 
she  has  self-reliance  born  of  confidence;  skill  and  intelligence  to  match; 
and  the  habits  of  a  scholar-scientist  to  whom  the  jobs  to  be  done  over- 
shadow the  time  of  day,  and  the  reward  of  solving  a  problem  weighs 
with  a  day's  wage.  Mrs.  Honeywell,  from  February  to  September,  was 
fully  occupied  in  helping  me  to  manage  the  variety  of  my  affairs;  but 
as  the  Centennial  Celebration  approached  and  the  work  snowballed, 
she  devoted  more  and  more  of  her  time  to  the  chores  of  Conference 
Secretary.  She  trained  an  office  staff  and  eventually  student  helpers;  she 
found  and  bargained  with  printers  and  movers;  she  turned  the  mnu- 
merable  tricks  that  magically  melt  difficulties. 

No  matter  how  good  our  authors,  how  wise  our  Committee,  or  how 
ingenious  its  Chairman,  the  Celebration  could  not  have  been  accom- 
plished without  these  two,  so  different  yet  so  alike  in  their  willingness 
to  plunge  into  the  unknown  and  their  ability  to  get  out  alive  somehow, 
if  only  at  the  last  split  second. 

Charles  Darwin  and  the  genuine  universal  importance  of  the  concept 
of  evolution  might  have  foreordained  the  success  of  the  Celebration  no 
matter  what.  Darwin  proves  to  be  more  than  a  mere  symbol;  his  Origin 
of  Species  is  a  living  classic  in  science.  More  than  that,  the  concept  of 
evolution  remains  among  the  most  significant  and  appealing  ideas  of 
the  intellectual  world  and  a  socio-religious  issue  as  much  as  it  was  one 
hundred  years  ago.  When  the  thought  of  the  Centennial  first  crossed 
my  mind,  I  evidently  felt  something  about  Darwin  and  evolution  that 
would  have  been  difficult  to  demonstrate  except  through  this  fulfill- 
ment- The  Centennial  was  a  success  because  it  celebrated  something 
with  deep  meaning  for  the  people  of  contemporary  America.  Evolution 
is  unfinished  business  for  all  kinds  of  people,  and  the  names  Darwin 
and  Huxley,  with  or  without  the  prefix  "Sir,"  call  up  still  the  variety  of 

280     '     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

images  they  once  did.  One  might  have  thought  that  with  all  the  evi- 
dence of  a  hundred  years,  science  by  now  would  have  triumphed  and 
hostilities  ended — particularly  since  science  generally  is  so  triumphant. 
(Or  is  it  precisely  because  science  is  so  triumphant  and  threatens  to 
destroy  us  all  that  we  rise  to  deny  it  where  we  can?)  But  Darwinian! 
evolution  also  turns  out  to  be  one  of  the  rare  great  tools  for  under- 
standing ourselves  and  nature,  and  it  was  to  this  bright  star  that  our 
Celebration  was  hitched.  In  this  old  but  vital  context,  every  scholar  and 
every  scientist  had  something  to  learn  and  something  to  give.  And  this, 
more  than  anything  we  did,  accounted  for  our  success. 

Whatever  the  Centennial  did  for  others,  for  me  it  brought  Darwin 
and  evolution  back  into  anthropology.  It  forced  me  to  see  some  of  our 
contradictions  and  helped  me  form  some  resolutions  about  the  study 
of  man: 

1 .  Culture  is  part  of  the  biology  of  man,  of  course,  even  though  it  is 
passed  on  socially  and  not  through  the  genes.  It  is  a  characteristic  of 
our  species,  as  characteristic  as  the  long  neck  is  of  the  giraffe.  The 
general  biological  questions  asked  about  the  giraffe's  neck  are  also 
questions  to  be  asked  about  the  civilizations  of  man. 

2.  Culture  is  part  of  the  evolution  of  man.  Man  is  evolving  con- 
tinually as  a  species,  perhaps  more  rapidly  now  than  any  other  species. 
Hence,  processes  of  natural  selection  and  the  like  are  presumably 
operative,  but  they  are  operative  on  the  species,  not  on  the  particular 
cultures  of  communities  of  men. 

3.  The  term  "evolution"  is  applied  to  both  socially  transmitted  cul- 
ture and  gene  transmitted  biology  because  neither  can  establish  an 
exclusive  claim.  However,  there  is  no  identity  between  the  two  usages. 
The  cultural  processes  of  continuity  and  change  are  different,  and  it  is 
only  by  analogy,  if  at  all,  that  one  can  speak  of  "natural  selection,"  for 
example,  in  the  development  of  cultures. 

Culture  must  be  studied  as  part  of  the  evolution  of  man;  but  culture 
change  and  growth  must  be  studied  in  their  own  terms.  Therefore, 
anthropologists  legitimately  study  culture  apart  from  the  organisms 
who  carry  it. 

4.  Cultural  behavior  has  a  quality  of  arbitrariness,  because  it  does 
not  flow  through  the  genes  and  is  therefore  not  anchored  to  the  indi- 
vidual. This  is  seen  most  clearly  in  the  arbitrariness  of  the  symbols  in 
language.  Characteristically,  therefore,  cultures  differ  widely  from 
community  to  community;  the  communities  of  men  have  this  quality  in 
common:  each  has  its  own  special  language,  value  systems,  social 
systems,  etc. 

5.  The  study  of  man  becomes  a  comparative  study  of  cultural  differ- 
ence within  "genetic"  sameness.  The  species  is  uniform,  with  what- 


ever  individual  differences  there  are  in  any  population;  but  every  com- 
munity has  its  stamp.  Both  factors  must  be  brought  into  the  compari- 

6.  Culture  developed  through  time;  archeology  and  common  sense 
both  make  it  clear  that  culture  developed  from  something  rudimentary 
in  primitive  australopithecines.  Some  stages  are  easy  to  unagine  and 
also  marked  in  the  evidence.  By  the  time  man  became  Homo  sapiens, 
he  had  behind  him  some  unportant  stages — tool-making,  fire,  speech, 
and  many  other  socially  transmitted  behaviors.  These  had  developed 
to  the  point  where  all  men  could  live  in  the  characteristic  human  com- 
munity that  we  have  known  in  history.  Kalahari  Bushmen  and  An- 
damanese  share  with  Londoners  and  Ukrainians  the  characteristic  of 
being  parts  of  a  self-conscious  and  ethnocentric  community  with  its 
distinct  language,  culture,  social  system,  and  convictions  of  right  and 
wrong.  The  latest  such  communities  of  Homo  sapiens  have  the  advan- 
tage of  much  accumulated  experience  that  the  first  lacked.  It  is  fairly 
easy  to  talk  about  "cultural  evolution"  with  respect  to  science  and 
technology  or  community  size  and  structure,  things  that  are  causally 
related  and  for  which  there  are  archeological  evidences.  A  theory  of 
cultural  evolution  implies  regularities  that  go  beyond  archeological 

7.  Only  the  "theories"  of  cultural  evolution  are  in  dispute.  The  cul- 
tural anthropologists  participating  in  the  Centennial  Celebration  were 
more  committed  to  such  theories  than  are  many  of  their  colleagues. 
The  general  conclusion  reached  in  Panel  Five — that  we  now  all  believe 
in  cultural  evolution — should  be  qualified:  Some  anthropologists  will 
accept  only  the  evidences  of  records  through  time  and  believe  that 
these  do  not  supply  evidence  of  regular  progression  in  social-reHgious- 
aesthetic  types  accompanying  the  technological-economic  stages  where 
these  have  occurred.  However,  all  anthropologists  recognize  both  the 
general  rise  of  culture  from  an  almost  non-existent  form  in  animals  to 
the  human  stage,  where  culture  seems  to  be  everything.  Beyond  that, 
they  acknowledge  the  general  progression  in  technology,  shared  differ- 
entially, and  in  the  size  of  the  society.  We  are  thus  evolutionists  for 
the  species,  including  its  development  of  culture;  but  only  some  claim 
the  existence  of  regular  progression  in  the  whole  of  culture.  Some  of 
these  think  of  hunting  and  gathering  tribes,  or  feudal  states,  as  sur- 
vivors of  earfier  stages  living  into  the  modern  world;  others  are  con- 
cerned less  with  temporal  succession  than  with  processes  of  change 
from  one  stage  to  another. 

8.  The  terms  "savage"  and  "barbarian"  have  been  replaced  by 
"primitive"  during  the  course  of  the  century,  to  express  the  opposite 
of  "civilized."  In  any  dictionary  sense  the  meaning  of  "primitive" 

282     ■     ISSUES  IN  EVOLUTION 

makes  it  appropriate  only  for  designating  the  first  men,  perhaps  aus- 
tralopithecines.  It  is,  therefore,  a  doubtful  courtesy  to  drop  the  nine- 
teenth century  derogatory  terms  and  call  most  of  the  peoples  of  thei 
world  "primitive."  It  is  ironic  that  the  substitution  is  made  most  uni- 
formly by  those  who  have  abandoned  cultural  evolution  because  theyv 
deny  that  any  culture  can  vaHdly  be  considered  more  advanced  thani 
any  other! 

So,  for  me,  the  Centennial  brought  Darwin  and  evolution  back  into 
anthropology,  not  by  resurrecting  analogies,  but  by  distinguishing  mam 
as  a  still-evolving  species,  characterized  by  the  possession  of  cultures « 
which  change  and  grow  non-genetically.  Human  evolution  includes  the 
addition  of  culture  to  man's  biology;  "cultural  evolution"  at  the  human 
level  is  quite  a  different  matter.  Anthropologists  accept  the  first  without 
question;  they  are  divided  about  the  second. 


Abbevillian  culture,  11,  99 
Abelson,  P.  H.,  ffl,  77 
Aberle,  D.  F.,  U,  346 
Abortion,  in  Japan,  III,  51 
Abstract  thinking.  See  Mind 
Accidental  synthesis,  I,  66 
Acclimation,  I,  584-87 
Acculturation,  II,  361  and  n.,  385 
Acheulean:  culture,  11,  99,  105,  109;  of 
Levalloisian   technique,   II,    105,    148; 
Middle,  II,  102 
Adams,  Henry,  11,  407 
Adams,  Robert  M.,  "The  Evolutionary 
Process    in    Early    Civilizations,"    II, 

mentioned,  H,  175;  ffl,  223-30  passim, 
241,  263-70  passim 
Adaptation(s):  co-ordinated,  I,  399;  cul- 
tural, II,  324-25;  III,  170;  Darwin  on, 
I,  506;  III,  209-10;  in  early  human  evo- 
lution, III,  145;  experiments  in,  I,  390- 
402;  III,  131;  toward  future  function, 
I,  341-42;  origin  of,  I,  357-78,  381- 
402;  in  population  systems,  I,  307-48; 
principles  of,  I,  106-10;  and  selection, 
I,  506,  510-11,  535,  587.  See  also  Di- 
rection in  evolution 
Adaptedness  (random  mutation  plus  se- 
lection), I,  386-90 
Adaptive:  amplification.  III,  72;  changes, 
I,  389-90;  death,  I,  327;  definition  of, 
I,   542;   monstrosities,   I,   538-40;   re- 
sponses,   n,    280-85;   types   in   verte- 
brates, I,  242;  values,  I,  541 
Adaptive  peak,  I,  429-71  passim,  541 
Adaptive  radiation,  I,  170-71,  237-43 
Adena  culture,  11,  121,  128 
Aerobic  conditions,  I,  68,  70,  77,  78;  ffl, 

Aesthetics,  possible  beginning  of,  in  birds, 

III,  195 
Africa.  See  Domestication;  Evolution,  hu- 

man; Language;  Primates;  and  specific 

cultures,  finds,  and  sites 
Agassiz,  Louis,  I,  307 
Aggression.  See  Behavior  patterns 
Agriculture:   agrarian  states,  II,   180-82; 

origin  of,  II,  67-83;  patterns  of,  U, 

Alchemy,  stellar  evolution  as  a  higher, 

Alexander,  Frank,  H,  358 
Algae,  I,  79,  143-45,  199-216,  219 
AUee,  W.  C,  I,  311,  313,  327,  551 
Alleles,  I,  429-71  passim 
Allen,  G.,  I,  58 
Allen's  rule,  I,  109 

AUometry:   correlations  between  growth 
of  parts  and  of  total  body,  I,  103-6; 
phylogenetic  rules  of,  I,  105 
Alternation  of  generations,  I,  207-17.  See 

also  Reproduction 
Altithermal  climatic  period,  II,  119 
Amadon,  Dean,  I,  370 
American    Anthropological    Association, 

II,  1  n.;  Ill,  272 
American  Relief  Administration,  III,  180 
Amery,  L.  S.,  II,  296 
Amino  acids:  arrangement  of,  I,  60-61; 
in,  85-86;  heating  of,  I,  72;  III,  95; 
nature  of,  III,  137;  proteins  synthesized 
from  free.  III,  83;  spontaneous  forma- 
tion of,  I,  72 
Anaerobic.  See  Aerobic  conditions 
Anagenesis,  III,  225 
Anatolian  Late  Bronze  Age,  III,  90 
Anders,  Edward,  ffl,  103,  104 
Anderson,  Edgar,  "The  Evolution  of  Do- 
mestication," II,  67-84; 
mentioned.  III,  132,  207-43  passim 
Andrews,  E.  C,  III,  140 
Andromeda  triplet,  I,  37 
Angiosperms:  alliance  of,  I,  231-35;  an- 
cestry of,  I,  227-33,  237,  244;  distribu- 




Angiosperms  (continued) 

tion   of,   I,   229-30,   233-38,    244-46, 
255-57;  evolution  of,  I,  157,  227-305 
Angostura  point,  II,  118 

Animal  behavior:  communication,  11, 
353-56;  HI,  179,  193-99,  215-17; 
communication  of  learned  habit,  11, 
335-38;  compared  on  conditioned  re- 
flex, in,  199;  implications  for  man.  III, 
179-84  passim;  insects,  I,  319-21;  lack 
of  symbolism  in,  II,  353-56;  learning, 
n,  260-62;  social,  H,  229-30,  309-71 
passim;  too  use  and  invention,  II, 
296-97,  322-25;  HI,  195-97,  231 

Animal  Behavior  Farm  (Cornell),  II,  230 

Anisomerism,  I,  173 

Anker,  Herbert  S.,  I,  72-73 

Anthropocentrism,  I,  25-31  passim;  III, 

Anthropology:  Darwin's  influence  on,  II, 
5-11;  early  literature  on,  II,  10-11; 
history  of,  II,  1-16  passim;  resolutions 
about,  brought  out  by  Centennial  Cele- 
bration (Tax),  m,  280-82 

Apes.  See  Primates 

"Ape-men."  See  Australopithecinae 

Aquinas,  Thomas,  III,  34 

Arambourg,  Prof.,  II,  27 

Arataki,  M.,  I,  105 

Archeology:  classification  in,  II,  155-57, 
169-86;  distortion  in  studies  of.  III, 
221-23;  interpretation  of,  II,  88;  radio- 
carbon dating  in.  III,  227;  stage  succes- 
sion in,  n,  154-59.  See  also  Evolution, 
cultural;  Prehistory 

Ariens-Kappers,  C.  U.,  II,  201 

Aristogenesis,  I,  404-5,  408 

Aristotle,  I,  34;  II,  298;  III,  35,  228 

Arldt,  Theodor,  I,  279 

Armstrong,  E.  A.,  I,  596 

Arrhenius,  G.,  II,  62 

Arrhenius,  Svante  August,  III,  104 

Artificial  insemination,  II,  402-3,  449-55; 
m,  59-60 

Asch,  S.  E.,  II,  349 

Atmosphere:  early,  I,  70;  III,  76-77,  97; 
Urey  on,  in,  78-79 

Atoms:  arrangement  in  molecules,  I, 
65-66;  formation  of,  I,  35;  questions 
concerning,   I,   24;   unchanging,   I,   34 

Augustine,  Saint,  III,  23,  36,  228 

Australopithecinae:  cranial  capacity  in, 
II,  38;  ni,  166-67;  culture  in,  n,  38-41; 
dating  of,  HI,  163-65;  dentition  of,  n, 
22,  37-38;  and  human  evolution,  n, 
23;  in,  146,  159 

Autecology:  defined,  I,  564;  study  of,  I, 

Autogenesis,  I,  404-5,  408 
Autokinesis,  II,  235-36 
Averroists,  III,  35 
Avery,  Amos  G.,  I,  592 
Awareness:  advances  in  organization  of, 

I,    17-20;  evolutionary  value   of,  in, 

187-88;  in  Homo  sapiens,  U,  348 
AxELROD,  Daniel  I.,  "The  Evolution  of 

Flowering  Plants,"  I,  227-305; 

mentioned,  I,  559;  III,  107-43  passim 
Azilian  points,  II,  105 
Aztecs,  II,  70,  71 

Bacon,  Francis,  H,  207 

Bacteria:  and  genetics,  I,  56,  85,  88,  200, 
201;  purple,  I,  77;  and  radiation,  I,  200; 
in,  90-91;  reproduction  of  I,  88,  199- 
217.  See  also  Viruses 

Baer,  Karl  Ernst  von:  embryogenesis,  U, 
207;  rule  of,  I,  103;  n,  190,  207;  and 
Spencer,  II,  190 

Bailey,  V.  A.,  I,  434 

Baldwin,  J.  M.,  I,  15,  389 

Bandelier,  A.  F.,  II,  164 

Barbarism,  I,  155;  III,  281-82 

Bartholomew,  G.  A.,  Jr.,  I,  564;  II,  39, 

Bates,  Marston,  "Ecology  and  Evolu- 
tion," I,  547-68; 
mentioned,  IH,  145-74  passim 

Bateson,  William;  anti-Darwinian  leader, 
I,  10;  study  on  variation,  II,  67; 
mentioned,  I,  350 

Bauer,  P.  T.,  in,  240 

Bayliss,  Sir  William  Murdock,  n,  224 

Beach,  Frank  A.,  I,  596;  II,  334,  335 

Beals,  Ralph,  II,  175 

Beard,  J.  S.,  Ill,  140 

Beardsley,  Richard  K.,  n,  144,  174 

Beckner,  M.,  I,  525-30  passim 

"Becoming,"  n,  255-67;  UI,  178 

Behavior:  classifying,  II,  385-86;  III, 
204;  comparative.  III,  183-86,  190-91; 
of  contemporary  primates.  III,  165-66; 
Darwin  on,  in,  175,  179;  data  on,  I, 
599-610;  II,  393-94,  400-404;  and  en- 
vironment, n,  246-47,  403;  evolution 
of,  n,  336-38,  359-62;  III,  176, 
187-92;  experimental  control  of.  III, 
186;  and  form,  II,  258-60;  in  func- 
tional psychology,  II,  282-85;  mecha- 
nisms of,  I,  595-97,  601-5;  methods  of 
study,  n,  375,  397-400;  m,  179,  180, 



182;  motivation  of,  H,  374-75,  380-81; 
III,  192,  194,  200-201;  new  patterns 
from  pre-existing  elements,  I,  172-74, 
352-53;  research  in,  11,  376,  380, 
395_97,  402;  III,  190-91;  and  selection, 
I,  602-5,  610;  II,  403.  See  also  Animal 
behavior;  Culture 
Behavior  patterns:  abnormal,  II,  373-422 
passim;  III,  179;  aggressive,  I,  10,  18; 
III,  120-21;  co-operative,  11,  353;  emo- 
tional, III,  192 
— communicative:  gestural,  n,  330-31, 
353-54;  signs,  III,  197-99;  speech,  H, 
293-94,  300-302;  symbols,  11,  249-50; 
ni,  215-16;  verbal.  III,  179;  trans- 
mission of  knowledge  by.  III,  197 

— intellectual:  learning,  II,  260-62;  III, 
199;  and  mind,  II,  373-85;  III,  46-48; 
pre-language,  II,  298-300;  scientific 
study  of.  III,  179-84 

—social:  concept  of,  I,  319-21;  HI,  171, 
179;  drives  in,  II,  229-30;  early  learn- 
ing in.  III,  392-403;  group  patterns,  II, 
329-38;  and  language,  II,  295-98 

—tool-using:  II,  296-97,  322-25;  m, 
195-97,  231 

Behaviorism,  II,  271 

Bellak,  Leopold,  U,  358 

Benedict,  Ruth,  Patterns  of  Culture,  U, 

Benzer,  S.,  I,  89;  HI,  83 

Beres,  David,  II,  358 

Berg,  L.  S.,  I,  404 

Bergman,  G.,  I,  597 

Bergmann's  rule,  I,  109 

Bergson,  Henri,  I,  44,  50,  62 

Bernal,  J.  D.,  II,  457 

Bernard,  Claude,  II,  236 

Bertalanffy,  L.  von,  I,  528,  530 

Bertani,  G.,  I,  88 

Bews,  J.  W.,  Ill,  140 

Bias,  in  fossil  record,  I,  124-34 

Bible:  literary  worth  of,  HI,  27-28;  vo- 
cabulary of.  III,  31 

Biocenosis,  I,  563 

Biochemistry:  approach  to  origin  of  life, 
I,  40;  lability  in,  I,  588-90;  and  uni- 
formity, I,  52;  III,  182-83 

Biogenetic  rule,  I,  103,  113 

Biogeocenosis,  I,  413 

Biology:  analytical  nature  of,  I,  381;  be- 
fore Darwin,  I,  118;  favoring  synthetic 
theory  of  evolution,  I,  405;  foci  of  in- 
terest in,  I,  381;  and  history,  I,  117-23 

Biopoesis:  biochemical  reactions  in,  I,  54; 
conditions  for,  I,  44,  77,  79;  energy  for. 

I,  75;  explanation  of,  I,  40,  52;  and 
limits  of  science,  I,  44-50;  HI,  91-92; 
organic  matter  for,  I,  68;  on  other 
planets,  I,  80-81.  See  also  Life,  origin 

Biosphere.  See  Ecological  units 

Bipedahsm:    development  of,  11,  35-37; 
selective  value  of,  II,  46-47 

Birds,  I,  107-13,  157,  319,  387,  595-613 
passim;  III,  175-206  passim 

Birdsell,  J.  B.,  I,  564;  II,  9,  322 

Birth  control,  n,  468-72;  HI,  64 

Bithorax  phenotype,  I,  394-99 

Blair,  F.  W.,  I,  467,  607 

Blest,  A.  D.,  I,  602 

Bleuler,  Manfred,  H,  383 

Blood  groups,  I,  194-95 

Bloomfield,  Leonard,  U,  393;  IH,  179, 

Boaz,  Franz,  II,  159,  173 

Bock,  Walter,  I,  373 

Bodmer,  Carl,  II,  86 

Bohr,  Niels,  II,  391;  ID,  202 

Boise,  Charles,  II,  25 

Bondi,  H.,  I,  32 

BoRDES,  Francois,  "Evolution  in  the 
Paleolithic      Cultures,"      II,      99-110 

Boreal  element,  I,  261,  263,  265 

Boring,  E.  G.,  H,  282 

Boucher  de  Perthes,  II,  34 

Bower,  F.  O.,  I,  231 

Bowlby,  J.,  II,  395,  396 

Boyden,  A.  A.,  I,  525 

Brachiation,  IH,  152-54,  204 

BRArowooD,  Robert  J.,  "Levels  in  Pre- 
history:  A  Model  for  the  Considera- 
tion of  the  Evidence,"  11,  143-51; 
mentioned,  H,  174,  175,  182 

Brain:  allometry  in  growth  of,  I,  104-6; 
Broca's  area  in.  III,  167;  changes  in, 
II,  50;  Darwin  on,  II,  33,  49,  187;  III, 
168,  171,  202,  205;  evolution  of.  III, 
145,  166-69;  function,  II,  187-209, 
343-44;  post-Darwinian  concepts,  II, 
187,  188;  quality  of.  III,  168;  size  and 
capacity  for  adaptation,  II,  324-25; 
size  and  complexity,  HI,  157;  stem,  II, 
344;  structural  similarity  of  primate, 
n, 343-44 

Brandtner,  F.,  H,  164,  165 

"Breakthrough."  See  Transformations 

Breuil,  H.,  II,  355 

Briflault,  Robert,  U,  13 

Briggs,  R.,  II,  453 

Brooks,  C.  E.  P.,  I,  563 

Broom,  Robert,  II,  19 



Brosin,  H.  W.,  "Evolution  and  Under- 
standing Diseases  of  the   Mind,"  II, 
mentioned,  III,  175-206  passim 

Brough,  J.,  I,  159-60 

Bruce,  J.  Percy,  HI,  7 

Bruecke,  Ernst,  11,  377 

Briicker,  E.,  II,  59,  162 

Brues,  Alice  M.,  I,  468 

Bryan,  William  Jennings,  HI,  29,  30,  43 

Buffon,  Georges  de,  11,  293 

Burbidge,    Margaret   and    Geoffrey,   m, 
101,  102 

Biiri,  Peter,  I,  468 

Burial,  and  fossil  record,  I,  125-29 

Burnet,  F.  M.,  I,  85 

Cain,  A.  J.,  I,  412 

Callender,  Charles,  HI,  278-79 

Calvert  flora,  I,  259 

Calvin,  John,  HI,  36 

Calvin,  M.,  I,  74 

Calvin,  S.,  II,  58,  59 

Cambrian  land  plants,  I,  229 

Campbell,  Douglas  Houghton,  I,  279 

Canalisation,  I,  393-400,  587 

Cancer:  a  biological  phenomenon,  I,  615 
equivalents  of,  in  bacteria,  I,  620 
equivalents  of,  in  protozoa,  I,  622-25, 
equivalents  of,  in  yeast  and  fungi,  l, 
618-20;  nature  of,  I,  616-18;  III,  98; 
search  for  anticancer  substances,  I, 
618,  624-27;  theory  of  evolution  and 
study  of,  I,  615-16,  627 

Cannon,  W.  B.:  coined  term  homeostasis, 
I,  315;  emergency  theory  of,  II,  276; 
mentioned,  236,  275 

Carbon:  in  chemical  evolution,  I,  67-77 
passim;  compounds,  I,  570 

Carbon  dioxide:  appearance  in  history  of 
earth,  I,  70,  72;  III,  97 

Carbon-14:  as  biochemical  tracer,  I,  73- 
dating  method,  n,  57-66  passim 

Carboxyanhydrides,  I,  72-73 

Carpenter,  C.  R.,  II,  314,  317,  334;  m, 

Carpenter,  J.  R.,  I,  563 

Castor,  L.,  I,  617,  618 

Catalysis,  by  unattached  prosthetic  group 
I,  74  ^' 

Catalytic  proteins,  spontaneous  genera- 
tion of,  I,  63-64 

Cathn,  George,  II,  86 

Causal  laws,  I,  97-98.  See  also  Laws 

Cells:  appearance  of  first,  I,  50-53;  chem- 
ical mnovations  at  cellular  level,  I,  352; 

composition  of,  I,  53;  genetic  altera- 
tion in  bacterial,  I,  88;  membrane 
function  in,  I,  59;  in,  98;  mutations 
in  living.  III,  81;  reproduction  of,  I, 
58;  m,  85,  90 

Cellular  physiology,  universality  of,  I,  53, 

Cenozoic:  environmental  changes  of,  I, 
237;  flcristic  changes,  I,  272;  vulcan- 
ism  and  faulting,  I,  255 

Centennial.  See  Darwin  Centennial  Cele- 

Chance,  B.,  I,  617,  618 

Changes:  accelerating  rate  of,  11,  256-58; 
biological  and  cultural,  shown  by 
hominines.  III,  160;  direction  of,  I, 
541;  III,  213-14;  and  epigenesis,  II, 
265-66;  evolutionary,  I,  349-80;  III, 
209,  224;  of  function,  I,  361-67;  mean- 
ing of,  II,  169;  in  neural  evolution,  II, 
211-18  passim,  262-64;  progressive, 
in,  146;  psychosocial.  III,  197.  ISee  also 
Direction  in  evolution;  Mutation;  Se- 

Chardin,  Teilhard  de,  n,  28,  39,  253 

Chase,  M.,  I,  87,  102 

Chatelperron  point,  11,  99,  100 

Chavin  art  style,  II,  133 

Chellean  culture:  implements,  n,  27,  42; 
in,  159;  occupation  horizons,  II,  42; 
stage  of,  II,  26,  27 

Chelles-Acheul:  hand-axe  culture,  U,  25, 
43;  tradition,  II,  35 

Chemical  evolution,  I,  67-79 

Chemosynthetic  bacteria,  I,  204-5 

Chetverikov,  S.  S.,  I,  409 

Childe,  V.  Gordon,  II,  89,  95,  149,  155, 
156,  164,  172,  175;  HI,  222,  225,  229, 

China:  art  in,  in,  14-15;  concern  with 
evolution.  III,  1,  2,  17;  modern  ad- 
justments in.  III,  15-16;  Opium  War, 
ni,  15-16;  philosophy  of.  III,  228; 
speculation  over  creation,  m,  3-4, 
8-9,  181 

Chlorophyll:  in  cell  metabolism,  HI,  78; 
and  enzymes,  I,  50;  and  photosyn- 
thesis, I,  53,  77;  responsible  for  life 
on  earth,  I,  50,  53;  structural  formula 
of,  I,  54 

Christian  thought  on  origins,  HI,  29-40 

Chromosomal  cycles:  in  animals  and 
plants,  I,  212-17;  in  fungi,  I,  217-20. 
See  also  Genes;  Genetics 

Chuang-Tzu,  III,  6,  7 

Civilizations:  early,  n,  154-164;  growth 
of,  as  evolutionary  change,  n,  165-68; 



"High,"  II,   176.  See  also  specific  en- 
Cladogenesis,  in,  224,  225 
Clark,  Graham,  II,  86 
Clark,  J.  G.  D.,  I,  564 
Classification:   archeological,  11,  155-57, 
169-86;  of  behavior,  II,  385-86;  III, 
204;  by  Cuvier,  II,  8;  of  galaxies,  I, 
36;  of  glaciation,  II,  59;  UI,  161-62; 
human    systematics,   III,    149;   human 
types  (Pavlov),  II,  225-26;  of  knowl- 
edge, needed,  II,   15-16;  by  Kroeber, 
n,  171;  by  Linnaeus,  II,  8;  by  Leslie 
White,  II,   172-76;  of  subhuman  pri- 
mates, ni,  145-63 
Clausen,  J.,  I,  468 
Cleiodoic  egg,  I,  360 
Clement  of  Alexandria,  HI,  34 
Clements,  F.  E.,  I,  562 
Cleveland,  L.  R.,  I,  317 
Climate:    importance   to   plants,   I,   234, 
236-37;    climatic    selection.    III,    122. 
See  also  Environment 
Clisby,  K.  H.,  H,  59 
Clovis  culture,  H,  117-18 
Cochise    (Ariz,   and   N.M.):    continuum 
of  cultures  in,  II,  119;  populations  of, 
n,  130;  sequence,  H,  119,  120 
Code  system  of  nucleotide  triplets,  HI, 

Coenzyme,  I,  54-56 
Colchic  element,  I,  262 
Cole,  F.  J.,  I,  524 
CoUias,  N.  E.,  H,  335 
Collier,  Donald,  II,  175 
Collingwood,  R.  G.,  H,  87,  92 
Colombia,  agronomists  of,  II,  69-70 
Coloration:    evolution  of,  and  color  vi- 
sion,   in,    192-93;    as    protection,    I, 
355-57,  556.  See  also  Melanism 
Communication:    animal    limitations    in, 
in,  179,  193-99;  future  of.  III,  202-3; 
gestural,  II,  330-31,  353-54;  symbols 
in,    n,    249-50,    293-94,    300-2;    IH, 
215-17;  in  transmission  of  knowledge, 
ni,   197.  See  also  Language;  Speech; 
Communism:  Communist  Manifesto,  HI, 
29;  forced  labor  under.  III,  54;  ide- 
ology, ni,  255;  view  of  eugenics,  U, 
Communities:    competitive   exclusion   in, 
I,  566;  components  of,  I,  558-60;  high 
altitude,    I,    565-66;    stability    of,    I, 
564-65;  succession  in,  I,  566:  th^nato- 
cenosis  and  biocenosis  in  animal,  I, 

Comparative     anatomy,     H,     199;     ni, 

Comparative     behavior,      HI,      183-85, 

190-91.  See  also  Animal  behavior 
Comparative  genetics,  I,  197-226 
Comparative  method,  I,  122-23 
Comparative   neurology,  I,  211-18;  III, 

Comparative  physiology,  I,  569-94 
Comparative  psychology,  II,  270-74 
Comte,  Auguste,  II,  6,  204 
Conditioned  reflex:  as  basic  learning,  n, 
200-204;    cardiovascular,    II,    232-34; 
III,  199-200;  Darwin's  observations  on 
cardiac,  II,  228-29;  and  environmental 
limitations,    II,    247-49;    function,    II, 
230-32,  236-37;  method  of,  in,   180 
Condorcet,  11,  5,  6 
Conduction.  See  Sa'tatory  conduction 
Confucianism,  III,  14,  15,  228 
Confucius,  III,  2,  9 
Conrad,  G.  M.,  I,  363 
Consciousness:     in    animals.    III,     187; 
meaning  of,  in  functional  psychology, 
II,  275,  281-82;  "seat  of,"  II,  344 
Continuity  of  sciences,  I,  46-50 
Contraception:  invention  of,  II,  469;  oral, 

HI,  51-53 
Cope,  E.  D.,  I,  370;  "law  of  the  unspecial- 
ized"  by,  I,  108;  rule  of  successive  in- 
crease of  body  size,  by.  III,  151 
Copernicus:  Revolutions  of  the  Heavenly 

Bodies,  ni,  29;  theory  of,  I,  25 

Correlations:  between  body  size  and  size 

of  organs,  I,  103-5;  laws  of,  I,  19;  in 

structure  and  function  of  organs,  I,  100 

Cosmogony:  Chinese  concept  of.  III,  2-3; 

terminology  of,  I,  33 
Cosmos:  characteristics  of,  I,  117;  evolu- 
tion of,  I,   113;  repulsion  by,  in  gal- 
axies, I,  37 
Cott,  H.  B.,  I,  496 
Coulborn,  Rushton,  II,  174 
Council  of  Trent,  III,  37 
Council  of  Vienne,  HI,  20 
Craig,  Dennis,  I,  564 
Crane,  J.,  I,  596 
Crawford,  M.  P.,  II,  353 
Creation:   balance  between  origmal  and 
continuing.  III,  38-39;  biblical  stories 
of,  in,  31-33;  concepts  of,  I,  32;  II, 
37;  ni,   1,  3-4,  8-9,  30-40,   181;  de- 
fense of,  in  ancient  world.  III,  33-35; 
definition  of,  and  deism.  III,  38;  and 
doctrine  of  evolution,  II,  30;  III,  30; 
false   idea  of,  HI,  252,  265;   Gnostic 
teaching  of,  HI,  35 



Creation  of  life.  See  Biopoesis;  Life,  ori- 
gin of 

Cretaceous:  flora,  I,  244-46;  rocks,  I,  228 

Crick,  F.  H.  C,  I,  102 

Critchley,  Macdonald,  "The  Evolution 
of  Man's  Capacity  for  Language,"  II, 
mentioned,  in  III,  175-206  passim 

Cro-Magnon  civilization,  II,  303,  304, 

Crop  plants:  cotton,  II,  69;  maize,  11, 
69-70;  miscellaneous,  11,  70-71,  78-79; 
potatoes,  II,  69;  rye,  II,  81-82;  small 
grains,  II,  75-76;  sugar  cane,  11,  68; 
wheat,  II,  68 

Cross-fertilization:  Darwin  studies  on,  I, 
12-13;  in  genetical  systems,  I,  198 

Crow,  J.  F.,  I,  448 

Cullen,  E.,  I,  603 

Cultivation:  native  American,  II,  114; 
patterns  of,  II,  128-29.  See  also  Do- 

Culture:  accumulative  nature  of.  III,  208, 
220-24;  and  behavior,  HI,  280;  and 
behavior,  by  subhumans.  III,  195-97; 
characteristics  of,  11,  314-16;  HI, 
171-73,  195,  207,  209-11,  216-17, 
231-33,  271,  280-81;  development  of 
human,  II,  33-56,  111-12,  175-76;  and 
genetics,  n,  442-45;  HI,  146;  and  his- 
tory, II,  10;  m,  210,  230,  235-36; 
microdynamic  and  macrodynamic  ap- 
proach, n,  16;  negative  feedback  pro- 
duced by  advances  in,  m,  237;  in  New 
World,  n,  113-16,  134;  from  phylo- 
genetic  perspective,  II,  309-71  passim; 
and  "race,"  confusion  between,  HI, 
271;  requirements  for,  II,  329;  III,  167; 
and  "society"  distinguished,  II,  329; 
survival  of  man  through,  II,  423-24; 
transmission  of,  II,  321-22,  336-38; 
present  trend  in  studies  on,  II,  174-76.' 
See  also  specific  cultures;  Evolution, 
cultural;  Life-patterns;  Social  structure 

Cuvier,  Baron,  I,  153  and  n. 

Cytochromes,  m,  98 

Cytoplasmic  inheritance,  I,  533 

Dakota  flora,  I,  244,  268 

Daniel,  G.  E.,  II,  89 

Darlington,  C.  D.,  I,  13 

Darrow,  Clarence,  HI,  29,  30 

Dart,  Raymond,  I,  564;  n,   17    18    19 

324;  m,  158,  159 
Darwin,    Sir    Charles    GaIton,    "Can 

Man     Control     His     Numbers?"     II, 

mentioned,  HI,  41-65  passim;  69-105 
passim,  272 
Darwin,  Charles  Robert:  biographical 
data,  I,  1-21;  II,  187;  contributions,  I, 
1-2,  11,  385;  and  Freud,  II,  195;  a 
"genius,"  as  defined  by  Kroeber,  I,  8-9; 
and  Haeckel,  II,  204;  and  Lamarck,  I, 
114;  III,  180-89;  and  Lyell  and 
Hooker,  I,  5,  6;  and  Malthus,  I,  5;  ma- 
terial available  to  him,  II,  9;  as  medical 
student  in  Edinburgh,  I,  4;  notebooks 
on  transmutation  of  species,  I,  4;  and 
Pavlov,  II,  193,  219-20,  237;  and 
Spencer,  II,  195,  205-6,  269;  student  at 
Down,  England,  11,  207;  visit  to  the 
Galapagos,  I,  9;  and  voyage  on  the 
Beagle,  I,  4,  9;  II,  187,  207;  and  Wal- 
lace, I,  6,  491,  519;  III,  120;  and  Josiah 
Wedgwood,  I,  9;  and  Wilberforce,  m, 

character  and  personality:  biologi- 
cal humility,  I,  26;  capacity  for  general- 
ization, I,  11;  diffidence,  I,  3,  4;  in- 
dustry, I,  2;  neurotic  symptoms,  I,  3,  4; 
passion  for  completeness,  I,  3,  7;  re- 
luctance to  publish,  I,  3,  4,  6,  10;  tena- 
cious and  comprehensive  mind,  I,  1 1 
influence  of:  on  Bateson  and  de 
Vries,  II,  67;  on  behavioral  sciences, 
m,  266;  on  biology,  I,  10,  12,  118-19, 
615;  on  breeding  practices,  I,  13;  on 
concept  of  human  evolution,  I,  17;  II, 
2,  309-11;  m,  212;  on  doctrine  of 
original  sin,  HI,  30;  on  ecology  and 
ethology,  I,  2;  on  psychology,  11, 
269-80,  310;  III,  59,  181,  188;  on 
theories  of  his  own  day,  I,  382 
opponents  of:  Bateson,  I,  10;  II,  67; 
Mivart,  I,  355,  365-66;  nineteenth  cen- 
tury philosophers,  II,  301-2;  theologi- 
cal, III,  24,  29-30 

theories  of:  on  abstract  thinking  in 
animals,  H,  299;  on  adaptation,  IH, 
209-10;  on  adaptive  radiation,  I,  161; 
on  bipedal  locomotion,  11,  35;  on  car- 
diac conditioned  reflex,  n,  228-29;  on 
competition,  as  main  factor  in  selec- 
tion, I,  496-97;  III,  120-21;  on  cross- 
fertilization,  I,  12-13;  on  deposition 
and  erosion,  I,  127;  development  of, 
after  publication  of  Origin,  I,  10;  on 
distribution,  I,  246-47;  on  divergence 
of  characters,  I,  517;  on  domestica- 
tion,   n,    67;    on   early    learning,    n. 



229-30;  on  effect  of  "person,"  n,  229; 
on  emergence  of  novelties,  I,  349;  on 
extinct  species,  I,  163;  on  the  eye,  ori- 
gin of,  I,  359;  on  family  as  primary 
unit,  II,  427;  on  the  "fittest,"  I,  499, 
505-6;  on  heredity,  II,  277;  on  human 
behavior,  III,  179;  on  the  human  brain, 
n,  49;  on  human  evolution  in  Africa, 
n,  17,  30;  m,  159;  inheritance  of  ac- 
quired characteristics,  11,  221;  on  insect 
groups,  I,  309;  on  language  and  brain 
size,  II,  33;  on  man's  lack  of  unique- 
ness, in,  253;  on  man's  mental  capac- 
ities, I,  11;  II,  379;  on  moral  sense,  I, 
13;  n,  33,   308;  of  natural  selection, 

1,  11,  405;  n,  158,  256;  IH,  116;  on 
origin  of  new  types,  I,  13,  349;  on 
phylogeny  of  brain,  mind,  and  behav- 
ior, n,  187;  on  plant  evolution,  I,  227; 
on  plasticity  in  living  organisms,  11, 
236;  on  population,  I,  506,  550;  on  pro- 
gressive changes  in  organisms,  I,  477; 
on  reasoning,  11,  309;  on  rock  se- 
quences, I,  127-29;  on  schizokinesis, 
II,  227-28;  on  selection  pressures,  I,  4, 
371;  II,  33;  on  sexual  reproduction  and 
selection,  I,  333,  413;  on  teeth,  re- 
duced size  of,  n,  37;  III,  156;  of  time, 
in  evolution,  I,  11 ;  HI,  60 
writings:  Autobiography,  I,  161;  11, 
205;  Darwin-Wallace  papers,  HI, 
62-63,  273;  The  Descent  of  Man,  11, 

2,  10,  17,  49,  187,  204;  The  Expression 
of  the  Emotions,  I,  11;  H,  187,  226, 
230,  274;  HI,  64,  186;  Variation  of 
Animals  and  Plants,  I,  96;  II,  277;  IH, 
64.  See  also  Origin  of  Species 

Darwin,  Mrs.  Charles  (Emma  Wedg- 
wood): concern  over  D.'s  spiritual  be- 
liefs, I,  12;  effect  on  husband's  mental 
health,  I,  3;  opposition  to  unorthodox 
views,  I,  4;  and  posthumous  publica- 
tion of  Autobiography,  I,  12 

Darwin,  Erasmus  (grandfather  of  Charles 
D.),  I,  8;  n,  91 

Darwin,  Francis  (son  of  Charles  D.),  I,  12 

Darwin,  Robert  (father  of  Charles  D.), 
autocratic  with  his  children,  I,  3,  4; 
hostility  to  idea  of  evolution,  I,  4;  in- 
fluence on  son,  I,  9;  view  of  son's 
abilities  and  character,  I,  9 

Darwin  Centennial  Celebration:  anthro- 
pological principles  clarified  by.  III, 
268,  280-82;  impact  of,  on  partici- 
pants and  lay  public,  234,  246-48;  IH, 
263-64;  lines  of  research  suggested  by. 

m,  269;  preparations  for,  ffl,  272-79; 
purpose  of,  III,  249,  264-65;  success 
of,  III,  279-80 
Darwinism:     defined    by    J.    Huxley,    I, 
17-21;  emergence  of,  I,   1-21;  as  in- 
tellectual basis  for  Chinese  upheaval, 
m,  16-17;  and  organized  religion,  II, 
1,  30;  in,  30 
Dating:    by   fossil    record,    I,    158;    III, 
163-65;   human  evolution,  11,   57-66; 
III,  163-64;  of  plants,  I,  293 
Davis,  D.  Dwieht,  I,  357,  524 
Death  of   individuals,   phylogeny   of,   I, 

325-29,  560-61 
DeBeer,  G.  R.,  II,  340-41;  HI,  128 
Deccan  traps,  I,  281 
DeLaguna,  Grace,  II,  296 
Delbruck,  M.,  I,  410 
Demerec,  M.,  I,  410,  423 
Dempster,  E.  R.,  I,  441 
De    nova    origins,    non-existent,    I,    42, 

173-74,  352-53 
Dentition:  in  early  primates.  III,  155-56; 

reduction  in  australopithecine  stage,  II, 

37-38;    significance    of   reduction,    II, 

Denzer,  H.,  I,  105 
Descartes,  Rene,  H,  206,  237,  454 
Design,  appearance  of,  in  organic  world, 

I,  382-90.  See  also  Direction  in  evolu- 
Development:     effect    of    stress    on,    I, 

398-99;  hypothesis  by  Spencer,  II,  207 
de   Vries,   Hugo,   Species  and   Varieties: 

Their    Origins   by    Mutations,    11,    67; 

mentioned,  I,  350,  409 
Devolution,  result  of  Chinese  idea  of,  HI, 

Dewey,  John:  on  theories  of  emotion,  II, 

275-76;  on  transactional  viewpoint  in 

perception,  II,  282 
Dialectic  materialism,  I,  41 
Diastems,  I,  128 
Dice,  L.  R.,  I,  467 
Differentiation:  local,  HI,  145;  sequence 

of,  I,  105 
Diffusion,  as  mode  of  evolution.  III,  225 
Diploid  cycles,  I,  125,  215,  217-18 
Diploidy:  and  alternation  of  generations, 

I,   207-17;   establishment   of,   I,   215; 

evolutionary      significance,      I,      125, 

213-14;  flexibility  in,  I,  216,  220-21 
Direction    in    evolution    (concepts    and 

theories) : 

Adaptation  toward  future  function,  I, 




Direction  in  evolution  (continued) 
Adaptive  peak,  as  "resolution  of  acting- 
forces,"  I,  429-71 

"Appearance  of  design  in  the  organic 
world,"  I,  382-90 

"Biological  adaptedness"  (random  mu- 
tation plus  natural  selection),  I,  386-90 
"Dynamic  homeostasis"  (Emerson),  I, 

Evolutionary  progress:  summary  of 
concepts,  I,  340-42 

Experimental  studies,  I,  181-94,  390- 

"Feedback,"  I,  338-40 
"Inherent    tendencies    toward    perfec- 
tion" (vitalistic),  I,  170,  171 
Non-adaptive  survivals  and  trends,  I, 

Origin  of  novelties,  I,  357-78 
Preadaptation,  I,  364-67 
Selectionist  theory,  I,  170-71 
Teleonomy,  I,  175,  341;  m,  109 
Transformation    ("breakthroughs")    to 
new    uses:    in    behavior,    I,    173-74, 
352-53;  in  function,  I,  173-77;  in  struc- 
ture, I,  172-75,  365 
"Trends    in    the    history    of    life,"    I, 

"Universal  goal  is  a  posteriori  at  the 
given  moment  and  is  simply  survival," 
I,  175 

Diseases:  cause  of,  11,  388-90;  resistance 
to,  II,  389.  See  also  Mental  disorders 

Disorientation,  experiments  in,  HI,   186 

Divergence,  I,  12 

Djetisbeds,  n,  17 

DNA:  as  carrier  of  genetic  information, 
m,  84;  defined,  HI,  82-86;  essential 
to  life,  m,  107;  injections  of,  11,  402-3; 
mechanism  of,  HI,  143;  model,  HI,  74, 
85-86;  nitrogen  bases  for,  HI,  74;  of 
proteins,  HI,  115;  in  replication,  m, 
79,  82,  93,  108,  116;  and  RNA,  in 
cellular  activity,  HI,  85;  and  RNA  dis- 
tinguished, m,  84-85;  schematic  dia- 
gram of,  I,  61;  size  of  molecule,  m,  83; 
in  viruses,  HI,  112 

DoBZHANSKY,     Theodosius,     "Evolution 
and  Environment,"  I,  403-28; 
mentioned,  I,  95,  313,  314,  336    339 
440,  446,  467;  n.  111,  112,  256;  m^ 
69-105  passim,  107-43  passim 

Dohm,  Anton,  I,  360 

Dollo's  law,  I,  173  n 

Domestication:  analysis  by  scientific 
methods,  11,  67;  earliest,  n,  74-75; 
hypotheses  about  plant,  n,  71-73;  im- 

portance of  minor  crops  to  origin  of, 
II,  76;  independent  African  center  of, 

II,  81-83;  problems   for  investioation 
in,  n,  74-83;  studies  on  plant,  11,  67-71 

Dominance,  genetic:  among  alleles,  I, 
437;  emergence  of,  III,  110;  factor  in- 
teraction in,  I,  437-43 

Dominance,  social:  and  group  succession, 
I,   18;  role  differentiation  as  basis  of, 

III,  171,  178 
Donaldson,  H.  H.,  I,  105 
Doty,  P.,  I,  66,  72 

Doty  polymerization,  I,  73 

Dougherty,  Ellsworth  C,  I,  525;  HI,  115 

Drosophila,    I,     15,     16,     182,     390-99, 

Durkheim,  fimile,  II,  405 
Dutch  Institute  for  Brain  Research,  11, 


Earth,  early  conditions  on,  I,  67-79;  III, 

Earthquakes,  epicenters  of,  I,  252 

East,  E.  M.,  I,  440 

Eastern  Woodland,  11,  86,  123 

Eccles,  J.  C,  II,  235 

Ecological  units:  communities,  I,  551-52, 
557-62;  ecosystems,  I,  556-57;  eco- 
tone,  I,  551;  individual  as  the  basic,  I, 
548-50;  paleoecology,  I,  562;  popula- 
tions, I,  550-51 

Ecology:  balance  of  organisms  in,  I, 
501-5;  community  structure  in,  I, 
557-62;  defined,  I,  547;  and  evolution, 
I,  547-68;  as  "outer-physiology,"  I, 
549;  population  size  as  factor  in,  HI, 
165;  of  primitive  man,  HI,  166.  See 
also  Environment 

Ectogenesis,  I,  405 

Eden  points,  11,  118 

Edinger,  Ludwig,  U,  188,  199-201 

Edinger,  Tilly,  H,  199,  313 

Efremov,  I.  A.,  I,  528 

Eggan,  Fred,  H,  329 

Ego:  characteristic  of  Hominidae,  II, 
350-53;  at  different  levels,  m,  203;  as 
part  of  mental  apparatus  (Freud),  11, 
196-99;  in  psychological  maladjust- 
ment, II,  358-59;  and  self-objectifica- 
tion,  n,  348-359 

Einstein,  Albert,  I,  24;  11,  443,  454 

Eiseley,  Loren  C,  11,  310 

Elton,  Charles,  I,  560 

Eltonian  pyramid  of  numbers,  I,  330 

Emerson,  Alfred  E.,  "The  Evolution 
of  Adaptation  in  Population  Systems," 
I,  307-48; 



mentioned,   II,   375;  III,    107-43   pas- 
sim; ni,  273 

Emiliani,  Cesare,  "Dating  Human  Evo- 
lution," II,  57-66; 
mentioned.  III,  145-74  passim 

Emlen,  John,  III,  190 

Emotion:  classifying  expressions  of,  II, 
274-75;  theories  of,  II,  275-77 

Endemics:  evolution  of,  I,  279-93;  oc- 
currences of  fossil  plants  related  to,  I, 
276;  origin  of  areas  of,  I,  275-77 

Energy,  sources  of,  I,  75-77;  III,  70,  74, 
77,  93-95 

Engels,  Friedrich,  11,  91,  172 

Entropy:  increase  in,  I,  40;  negative,  I, 

Environment:  adaptation  to,  I,  406-8, 
423,  505-11;  balance  between  organ- 
isms and,  I,  501-5;  changes  in,  I, 
367-76,  584-87;  III,  178;  competition 
in  selection  of,  I,  492-96;  and  culture, 
ni,  210;  effect  of  behavior  on,  II,  403; 
and  evolution,  I,  403-28,  409-26;  free- 
dom of,  by  man,  I,  408;  II,  247-49; 
and  heredity,  I,  385;  II,  278-80;  labo- 
ratory studies,  I,  480-98;  lav/s  of  in- 
teraction with,  I,  106-10;  long-range 
interaction  with,  I,  587-88;  and  muta- 
tions, I,  399;  operational,  I,  554;  per- 
ceptual, I,  554;  and  populations,  I,  333, 
384-85;  potential,  I,  554;  pressures 
from.  III,  145;  response  to,  I,  408;  III, 
177;  and  selection,  I,  405,  513-17.  See 
also  Ecology;  Selection 

Enzymes:  and  anaerobic  metabolism.  III, 
97;  and  arrangement  of  DNA  mole- 
cules, ni,  85-86;  chemistry  of,  I, 
61-63;  and  chlorophyll,  I,  50;  destruc- 
tive, I,  65;  in  elimination  of  isomers, 
III,  89;  induction  of,  I,  384,  588-90; 
precursors  of.  III,  87;  for  producing 
nucleic  acids.  III,  70;  reactions  of,  I, 
71;  ni,  86-87;  in  self-duplicating  proc- 
ess, I,  64 

Eocene  reef  corals,  I,  281 

Ephrussi,  B.,  I,  533,  619 

Epigenesis,  I,  265-66 

Epigenetic:  landscape,  I,  393-401;  proc- 
esses, I,  399;  m,  148 

Epling,  C,  I,  468 

Erlanger,  J.,  II,  213,  214 

Erosion:  and  deposition,  I,  174;  taxa  in 
regions  of,  I,  126-27 

Eskimo  culture,  II,  122,  123 

Ethical  belief,  cause  of  appearance  of,  in 
man,  III,  173 

Ethnology,  societies  of,  n,  10 

Ethology:  concept  of.  III,  183-84;  evi- 
dence from,  II,  395-403;  founded  by 
Darwin,  III,  186;  research  in,  11, 
380-81;  III,  180-85 

Eucaryota,  1,200,  217 

Eugenics:  through  artificial  insemination, 
II,  402-3,  449-55;  Communist  view  of, 

II,  428;  and  population  control,  II, 
463-73;  questions  to  be  considered  in 
regard  to,  II,  240-41;  and  selection,  II, 
430-35;  III,  242-43 

Evans,  Earl  A.,  Jr.,  "Viruses  and  Evolu- 
tion," I,  85-93; 
mentioned.  III,  69-105  passim 
Evans,  H.  J.,  I,  616;  III,  74,  78,  83 
Evolution:    application  of  term,  I,  23, 
172,  310;  II,  99;  III,   102,  280;  basic 
definitions  of  Darwinian,  I,  10-21;  con- 
ditioned reflex  function  in,  II,  230-32; 
creative,  I,  425-26;  developmental  fac- 
tors   in.    III,    146;    direction    of.    III, 
237-43;  diversification  in,  I,  423,  425 

III,  131;  and  environment,  I,  409-28 
gaps  in  knowledge  about,  III,  139-43 
molecular  basis  for,  I,  569;  and  mor- 
phology, I,  524,  531-36;  II,  107-8; 
normal  and  linear,  II,  104;  and  paleon- 
tology, I,  537-43;  parallel,  I,  98,  170, 
404,  425;  paths  in,  I,  374-76;  and 
philology,  II,  289-91;  prospects  and 
goals  of,  I,  175-76,  542-43;  II,  456-61; 
regressive,  I,  324-25,  336-38;  and  sex, 

I,  413-17;  11,  384;  III,  108,  113;  socio- 
psychological,  II,  344-48;  time  dimen- 
sion in.  III,  141 

cultural:  beginnings  of,  II,  104-8; 
III,  165-66;  in  China,  III,  10-11;  as 
extension  of  organic  concept,  11, 
316-19;  and  genetics,  II,  208,  424-30; 
III,  146,  170,  209,  214,  217,  220-24;  in 
Mousterian  stage,  II,  109;  in  New 
World,  II,  136;  of  Paleolithic,  II,  99, 
102-3,  105-8;  phyletic  classification  in, 

II,  99-100;  sequence  of,  II,  95;  III, 
209;  theories  of,  II,  312;  III,  281.  See 
also  Culture;  Evolution,  Human 

and  genetics:  co-enzymes  and  pro- 
teins, I,  58;  composition  of  popula- 
tions, I,  407;  determiners,  I,  311;  III, 
120-21;  gene  frequencies,  I,  435-37. 
See  also  Evolution,  organic;  Genes; 

human:  the  brain  in,  II,  49-53,  187- 
209  passim;  III,  166-69;  course  of,  II, 
17-53  passim;  in,  145,  166-74;  dating, 
II,  57-66;  III,  163-64;  differences 
among  peoples.  III,  271;  evidence  of, 



Evolution  {continued) 

from  comparative  anatomy,  HI, 
149-50;  goal  of,  I,  342;  guidance  of, 
n,  423-73;  in  Pleistocene,  II,  34-35, 
64;  short-term  changes  in,  II,  469-70; 
in  speech,  11,  289-91,  306-8,  469-70; 
time  scale  of.  III,  161-65.  See  also 
Culture;  Evolution,  cultural;  Man 
organic:  adaptation  in,  I,  170-72, 
311-12,  381,  387-88;  HI,  72;  in  ani- 
mals, I,  181,  308-11;  III,  147-49;  evi- 
dence in  fossils,  III,  127-29;  evidence 
in  structure  and  behavior.  III,  129-37; 
laws  of,  I,  95-116;  models  for  the 
study  of,  I,  529-30;  novelties  in,  I, 
349-80;  in  plants,  I,  280-84;  proc- 
esses within  and  outside  of  organism, 
I,  404-8;  research.  III,  107,  112-14; 
theories  of,  I,  523-29.  See  also  Adap- 
tation; Evolution,  theories  of;  Selec- 

psychosocial:  future,  n,  465;  points 
of  agreement  re.  III,  265-66;  in  psy- 
chiatry, II,  373-422;  in  psychology,  II, 
269-85,  314-16,  380;  and  somatic- 
genetic,  III,  246,  251.  See  also  Cul- 
ture; Evolution,  cultural 
AND  religion:  attitudinal  changes,  HI, 
46,  253,  257;  Catholic  attitudes.  III, 
19-28;  on  creation  and  causality,  HI. 
29-40  ^ 

AND  selection:  chemical,  m,  82;  evi- 
dence of,  I,  467-68;  isolation  in,  I, 
462-67;  multiple  peaks  and  random 
processes,  I,  449-62;  physiological 
processes  in,  HI,  108,  123-25;  theory 
of,  I,  530;  III,  120-21.  See  also  Natural 
Selection;  Selection 

STUDY  AND  TEACHING  OF:  ancient  Chi- 
nese, III,  1,6-17;  confirmation  of  Dar- 
win by  research,  I,  95;  current  prob- 
lems in,  I,  353;  II,  311-19;  III,  4l_44, 
207-8,  238;  in  education.  III,  42;  in- 
tegration of  facts  since  Orioin  I 
528-29;  III,  251  ^    '      » 

THEORIES  of:  Agassiz  and  Darwin  I 
307;  before  Darwin,  I,  383;  and  can- 
cer studies,  I,  615-16;  currem  formu- 
lation of,  I,  10-21,  524,  528-30;  in- 
heritance of  acquired  characters,  I, 
383-88;  and  materialism,  III,  24;  math- 
ematical framework,  I,  429,  469-71- 
Mendelian  inheritance  and  selection  l' 
532;  metaphysical,  I,  527;  models  from' 
various  fields,  I,  529-30;  neo-Darwin- 
lan  n,  309-11;  neo-Lamarckian,  I, 
527;   paleontological,   I,   537;  psycho- 

genesis,  I,  97;  saltation  (mutation),  I, 
527-28;  selection  (synthetic),  I,  171  n. 
405,  523-27,  530,  531;  III,  110;  as 
succession  to  higher  levels.  III,  112; 
vitalist  (perfectionist),  I,  170-72;  Wal- 
lace and  Darwin,  III,  120-21 
TRENDS  in:  fossil  evidence  of,  I, 
166-67;  future,  197,  525-26;  IH,  256- 
257;  general,  I,  101;  III,  146;  long- 
term,  m,  137-39;  present,  I,  79, 

EwiNG,  J.  Franklin,  S.J.,  "Current  Ro- 
man Catholic  Thought  on  Evolution," 
III,  19-28 

Expansion:  as  adaptive  radiation,  I,  162; 
of  major  groups,  I,  154-59;  of  prime- 
val life,  I,  154-55;  of  marine  life,  I, 
155,  156;  primary  and  relaying,  I,  156, 

Experience:  fixation  of,  11,  256-57,  260; 
role  of  individual  in  "becoming,"  III, 

Exploitive  system,  man's  advances  in,  HI, 

Extinction:  explanation  of,  I,  153  n.,  163; 
as  fate  of  species,  I,  153;  frequency  of, 
ni,  141;  prevalence  of,  I,  163;  and  re- 
lay expansion,  I,  162,  163 

Extrapolations,  two  levels  of  danger  in,  I, 

Eye,  evolution  of,  I,  359 

Faber,  Ernst,  lU,  7 

Family-planning.  See  Birth  control;  Popu- 

Fano,  U.,  I,  410 

Far  East,  concepts  of  creation  and  evolu- 
tion in.  III,  1-17 

Faron,  L.  C,  n,  175 

Farrar,  F.  W.,  II,  289 

Feedback,  I,  338-40;  HI,  108,  125,  201, 
214,  242 

Fermi,  Enrico,  III,  248 

Fermi  Institute,  III,  103 

Fetalization,  II,  342 

Fischer,  Emil,  I,  59 

Fisher,  Charles,  III,  186 

Fisher,  James,  HI,  197 

Fisher,  R.  A.:   The  Genetical  Theory  of 
Natural  Selection,  III,  141; 
mentioned,  I,   15,  409,  433,  442,  468, 
524,  529,  536,  547;  HI,  139 

Fiske,  John,  11,  339,  340 

Fitness,  I,  198;  HI,  124 

Fleisch,  H.,  II,  102 

Fleming,  R.  H.,  I,  559 




Floras:  Cretaceous,  I,  228;  evolution  of 
modern,  I,  228-29;  Tertiary,  I,  246-47, 
278;  tropical  and  subtropical,  I,  260 
Flowering  plants.  See  Angiosperms 
Foerster,  Werner,  III,  31 
Folsom  type  points,  II,  118 
Fontechevade  remains,  II,  64 
Font-Robert  points,  II,  104,  106 
Ford,   E.   B.,   "Evolution   in   Progress," 
I,  181-96; 

mentioned,   I,   467,    468;   HI,    107-43 
Foreman,  F.,  11,  59 

Fossil  record:    adaptive  radiation  in,  I, 
161-66;  of  African  primates,  11,  17-56 
passim,  305;  bias  in,  I,  124-34;  III,  128; 
and  burial,  I,  126-29;  change  in  num- 
ber, I,  143-48;  III,  128;  comparison  of 
genera  in,  I,  142;  completeness  of,  I, 
125,   128,   129,    135-36;  and  concepts 
in  genetics,  I,  537;  HI,  127-28;  dating 
by,  I,   158;  III,   163-65;  emphasis  in 
Darwin's  day,  I,   143;  expansion   and 
equilibrium  as  processes  revealed  by,  I, 
154-59;  exposure  of,  I,  131;  extinction 
common,  153,  161-66;  of  Homininae, 
III,  159-66;  of  hominoids,  HI,  151-59; 
methods  of  collecting,  I,  132;  peculiar- 
ities of,  I,  144-46;  Piltdown  man,  II, 
313;  preservation  of,  I,   125,   126-27; 
problems  of,  I,  143-48,  538-40;  sam- 
pling of,  I,   124-25,   128-34,   136-43; 
study   of,   I,   537;   trends   in,   I,    167; 
values  of,  I,  528;  variation  in  collec- 
tions, I,  131-33 
Founder  principle,  I,  184-88 
Fox,  S.  W.,  I,  68,  72;  HI,  95 
Fraenkel-Conrat,  H.,  I,  87 
Franke,  Otto,  HI,  4 
Frankfort,  H.,  H,  88,  92,  96 
Frazer,  Sir  J.  G.,  H,  13,  311 
Freedman,  H.  F.,  11,  386 
Freedman,  L.  Z.,  11,  357 
Freud,  Anna:    The  Ego  and  the  Mecha- 
nisms of  Defense,  II,  358; 
mentioned,  11,  396 
Freud,  Sigmund:  on  ego-instincts,  11,  384; 
and  Lamarck,  II,  198;  on  mental  ap- 
paratus,  II,    196-99;   on   practices   of 
mystics  and  psychoanalytic  therapy,  II, 
198;  work  of,  II,  195-99; 
mentioned,  II,  6,    13,   188,   377,   383, 
389;  m,  181,  186 
— Writings:  The  Anatomy  of  the  Mental 
Personality,  11,  196;  Aphasia,  II,  196; 
The  Interpretation  of  Dreams,  II,  378; 
Project  for  a  Scientific  Psychology,  11, 

196;  The  Psychopathology  of  Everyday 

Life,    n,    393;    Three    Essays   on    the 

Theory  of  Sexuality,  II,  377 
Fried,  M.  H.,  II,  155,  156 
Frobenius,  Leo,  III,  271 
Fungi:  asexuality  in,  I,  220;  chromosomal 

cycles  in,  I,  217-20 

Gaffron,  Hans,  "The  Origin  of  Life," 

I,  39-84; 

mentioned.  III,  69-105  passim 
Galactocentrism,  I,  26,  29-30 
Galaxies:  classification  of,  I,  36;  Clouds 

of  Magellan,  I,  36,  37;  composition  of, 

I,  30;  distance  of,  I,  29;  expansion  of, 

I,  29;  Milky  Way,  I,  28;  progressive 
evolution  of,  I,  29,  32,  36-37 

Galileo,  II,  7 

Galton,  Sir  Francis:   Hereditary  Genius, 

II,  277;  Inquiries  into  Human  Faculty, 
II,  277;  studies  in  human  inheritance, 

m,  182 

Gamow,  George,  and  the  Primeval  Atom 
theory,  I,  32 

Gantt,  W.  Horsley,  "Pavlov  and  Dar- 
win," II,  219-38; 
mentioned,  HI,  175-206  passim 

Garrod,  Dorothy,  H,  102,  144 

Gause,   G.    F.,   "Darwinism,    Microbiol- 
ogy, and  Cancer,"  I,  615-29; 
mentioned.  III,  69-105  passim 

Geiger,  Lazarus,  II,  298 

Geiringer,  H.,  I,  430 

Generalization (s):  biases,  I,  143;  conclu- 
sions from,  I,  121;  of  evolutionary  con- 
cepts to  other  fields,  II,  18 

General  Mills  Research  Laboratory,  III, 

Genes:  and  alleles,  HI,  114-15;  combina- 
tions of,  I,  95,  415;  co-operation  of 
integrated,  I,  206-7;  differences  in,  II, 
381-84;  and  distribution  of  human 
blood  groups,  I,  468;  equilibrium  in,  I, 
314;  equivalent  to  DNA,  III,  74;  errors 
in  self-reproduction  of,  I,  409-10;  fre- 
quencies in  populations,  I,  417,  430-38, 
443_49,  457,  458,  459;  molecular  di- 
mensions of,  I,  89;  mutation  rates  in 
stable,  I,  101;  number  of,  I,  95;  pur- 
pose of,  III,  126;  recombination  of,  I, 
315-16,  415-17;  replacement  of,  I, 
422-23;  selective  advantage  of.  III, 
141;  three-dimensional  systems  of,  I, 
430;  and  viruses,  III,  69 
Genesis,  Book  of,  HI,  21,  23,  25,  29,  31, 

Genetic  assimilation,  I,  15,  316-17 



Genetics:  benefits  from  past  cultural  evo- 
lution, n,  424-26;  constancy  in  living 
systems,  I,  99;  of  continental  popula- 
tions, I,  422;  and  culture,  II,  442-45; 
m,  146;  diploidy  in,  I,  218-19;  drift, 
I,  417-22;  and  homeostasis,  I,  314;  in- 
adequacies of,  for  cultural  evolution, 
n,  426-30;  inertia  in,  I,  314;  mecha- 
nisms of,  I,  85,  334;  and  population, 
I,  313-14;  properties,  I,  90;  recombina- 
tion, I,  197-207,  221-23;  replication 
and  change  in  material  in.  III,  119;  re- 
search sequences  in,  I,  151-52;  struc- 
ture, and  negative  feedbnck  in,  HI, 
237;  svstems,  I,  198-201,  220-21,  339, 
423;  m,  147,  149;  techniques,  II, 
447-52;  transduction,  in  contrast  to 
sexual  reproduction,  I,  316;  in  study 
of  evolution,  I,  182,  532;  variability  in 
population,  I,  314,  390-98;  III,  108, 

Genetics,  I,  524 

Genotypes,  I,  15,  349,  413-15,  456,  458 

Geocentrism,    and    heliocentrism,    I,    25 

Geochemistry:  in  biopoesis,  I,  77;  work 
of,  I,  69 

Geofloras:  Antarcto-Tertiary,  I,  270-73, 
289,  290;  Arcto-Tertiary,  I,  229, 
261-69,  274,  288,  290;  area  occupied 
by,  I,  246;  centers  of  radiation  in,  I, 
245-46;  distribution  of,  in  Early  Ter- 
tiary, I,  248;  Madro-Tertiarv,  migra- 
tion of,  I,  274-77.  290;  Mediterrano- 
Tertiary,  I,  274;  Neotropical-Tertiary, 
I,  247,  258-60,  274;  Paleotropical- 
Tertiary,  I,  247,  257-59,  261;  plants 
of  modern  aspect  in  Tertiary,  I,  246; 
Semiarid-Tertiary,  I,  273-74;  Temper- 
ate Arcto-Tertiary,  summary  of,  I, 
269-70;  Temperate-Tertiary,  shifting 
of,  I,  260-66,  274;  Tropical,  I,  249; 
Tropical-Tertiary,  I,  247-57,  274 

Geologic:  evidence  of  evolution  of  plants, 
I,  227-305  passim:  evidence  of  plant 
migration,  I,  256;  time,  I,  166 

Gerard,    Ralph    W.,    "Becoming:    The 
Residue  of  Change,"  II,  255-67; 
mentioned,  HI,   69-105   passiin,    175_ 
206  passim 

Geren,  Betty,  11,  215 

Germs  in  space,  HI,  70,  103-5 

Gibbs,  Willard,  II,  443 

Gierer,  A.,  I,  87 

Gillespie,  Charles  B.,  HI,  188 

Gillispie,  Charles  Coulston,  HI,  39 

Glaciation:  classifications  of,  II,  59;  in 
dating    human    evolution,    11,    44^45, 

59-60,  63-65;  HI,  161;  effect  on  agri- 
culture, m,  227;  effects  of  Pleistocene, 
III,  145;  Gunz,  II,  63;  Inter-^lac